Saturday, June 12, 2021

I cannot trade my Olympic medal for Chelsea first team place, says Obi Mikel


tiamin rice

Nigeria’s players William Ekong (L) and John Obi Mikel (R) celebrate after receiving their bronze medals during the medal ceremony after defeating Honduras in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s bronze medal football match at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on August 20, 2016.

Super Eagles Captain, John Obi Mikel, who is being linked with a move out of Chelsea in the incoming summer transfer window, says he has no regrets playing for Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games even when that decision has cost him his first team shirt in the London team, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Nigeria international has been struggling with game time under Antonio Conte and the experienced midfielder has told the Sun why he’s not on good terms with the Italian tactician.

“I’m not that kind of person who wants to find excuses, nor I am trying to escape responsibilities.“People may think that Conte is angry with me because I did not take part in Chelsea’s pre-season training camp, but I wouldn’t swap my bronze medal with a starting spot in Chelsea’s XI. I don’t regret playing at the Olympic Games with my national team. I wouldn’t swap that medal with a regular spot at Chelsea,” he said.

Mikel said he has been training hard to convince Conte to change his mind, “but if that is not the case, let’s see what is going to happen in January.”

Chelsea are said to have offered Obi Mikel to Inter although the Nigeria International is not among the nerazzurri priorities.
The Nigeria International’s contract expires at the end of the season and Conte has offered the services of the 29-year-old to the Serie A giants. Mikel could join Inter in a free loan deal till the end of the season but the player doesn’t top the nerazzurri transfer shortlist.

Marseille’s Lassana Diarra is the real priority for Inter, but the club’s director of sport Piero Ausilio revealed yesterday that the club can only sign players on loan in January in order to stick with the FFP imposed by Fifa and Diarra is not one of those players, who could leave his club on loan or for free.

Tomas Rincon and Morgan Scheniderlin are also on Inter’s sights. The first one is close to joining Roma, the second one could join the San Siro in a six-month loan spell, but Inter are not open to pay his entire salary until the end of the season.

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