Former Captain of Super Eagles, John Mikel Obi, has disclosed why he snubbed Manchester United and signed for Chelsea in 2006.
Mikel spent 11 years at Stamford Bridge after he was signed from the Norwegian club, Lyn Oslo and he revealed that he signed for Chelsea because the future of 3 other Nigerian players was connected to the deal.
Before he moved to Chelsea, he had an agreement in principle with Chelsea but was persuaded to pen a deal with Manchester United. He even spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson on the phone.
This brewed a legal battle between Lyn Oslo, Manchester United and Chelsea and it took the intervention of FIFA before the matter was resolved.
Eventually, Mikel signed for Chelsea and the club paid a compensation fee of £12m to Manchester United and £4m to Lyn.
At that time, three of Mikel Obi’s U-20 teammates, Chinedu Obasi, Ezekiel Bala and Emmanuel Sarki, were undergoing trials at Stamford Bridge.
While talking to The Athletic, Mikel Obi, who currently plays for Kuwait SC said: “When I chose Chelsea, it wasn’t just my life that changed.
“There were four lives that changed. Why? Because if I didn’t, Chelsea might not have anything to do with my three friends. I was close to them. I knew their families.
“I didn’t just make the decision for myself. I thought about them, I thought about their families. This gave them more of a chance.”