French giants Marseille are ready to rescue Nigeria captain Mikel Obi from his Chelsea nightmare, but the player’s reported £3.4m-a-year salary is set to scupper the move.
Mikel, who joined the Premier League powerhouse in 2006, has been frozen out of the team by the Blues’ Italian manager Antonio Conte, who took over the reins at the Stamford Bridge side in the summer.
French outlet Le 10 Sport reported on Thursday that Marseille manager Rudi Garcia was desperate to sign the 29-year-old Super Eagles midfielder in January to boost his midfield options.
But Le 10 Sport claims the “the salary of Mikel Obi would be problematic”.
Acoording to talkSPORT, Chelsea are set to offload Mikel, has won two Premier League titles, the Champions League and four FA Cups with the club, as he is deemed surplus to requirements by Conte.
Mikel told The Sun last week that he was ready to quit the club during the January transfer window for first-team football elsewhere.
He said, “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.
“He (Conte) probably thinks I don’t care about the team, things like that.
“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.”
Le 10 Sport said Mikel, who guided Nigeria to a 3-1 win over Algeria’s Desert Foxes in their Russia 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier in Uyo on Saturday, could move to China where he would be guaranteed an annual salary matching what he currently earns at Chelsea.