Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is in ‘advanced’ talks with Marseille to go to the club on a free transfer, according to his national manager Gernot Rohr.
“I saw Obi Mikel in London. He is in advanced discussions with Olympique Marseille. He will leave Chelsea for free, this is a serious option,” the Nigeria head coachtold French radio station Europe 1.
The 29-year-old’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season, and he is yet to feature under new manager Antonio Conte.
Rohr claims Conte is punishing Mikel for helping to inspire Nigeria to third place in the Rio Olympics last summer.
But Mikel — Chelsea’s second longest-serving player behind captain John Terry — has no regrets about going and is ready to quit Stamford Bridge in January.
He said: “I have never been a guy who makes excuses in life and never shy away from responsibilities.
“Yes, maybe people will say the new manager was upset I left and went to the Olympics, that I didn’t have a pre-season with the team.
“But I don’t want to use those excuses. I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. If not, then we’ll see what happens in January.
“But, no, I would never swap my Olympic medal for a place back in the Chelsea team.
“I have not one single regret in going to the Olympics. And I will not trade my medal for anything.”