Jose Mourinho is reportedly plotting a January move for Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel to add to his defensive midfield options at Manchester United.
The Sun have claimed that Manchester United are showing interest in Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel. The Nigerian midfielder is on the radar of Jose Mourinho, who is eyeing a reunion with his former protege and planning a January move for the midfield enforcer.
John Obi Mikel has quite an interesting history with Manchester United. The Red Devils had agreed a move for the player with the club, but Chelsea appealed that they had an earlier deal agreed with the player’s agent and ultimately snatched the player away from United.
Mikel has been at Chelsea for almost a decade now and has accumulated 372 appearances for the club. However, the arrival of Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge seems to have pushed the Nigerian down the pecking order, with the Italian manager yet to field Mikel this season.
The 29-year-old’s contract is set to expire at the end of the current campaign and given his lack of involvement in the first-team setup thus far, the Nigerian international is unlikely to renew his deal.
A significant portion of Mikel’s Chelsea career was under Jose Mourinho. He was often the Portuguese’s go-to player when he wanted his team setup to be particularly robust in a defensive sense.
Marseille have also been linked with Mikel, but if Chelsea allow the player to move to Manchester United, the 29-year-old is likely to choose a reunion with Mourinho over a move to Marseille.
Mikel is considered to be a pure defensive midfielder, and is an enabler in the sense that he provides his midfield partner with more freedom to go forward — a quality Mourinho is seeking in Pogba’s partner. Carrick is seen as the perfect partner to Pogba at the moment but the veteran’s age means that he cannot play in every game.
As per the report, Mikel is likely to cost United a fee of around £2m. Given the current instability in terms of United’s defensive record and overall form, Mikel’s signing may just be what Mourinho and United need to unlock the full potential of their squad.