A semi-annual tradition going on several years now, here's the first of this winter transfer window's many stories about John Obi Mikel going to Turkey. Besiktas, this time, just like in the summer.
"If [manager] Senol Gunes had given the go ahead we were going to sign [Mikel in the summer] and we could enter the race again over the winter break."
Although still just 28, Mikel's pretty much part of the Stamford Bridge furniture nowadays after nine years at the club. At last check, he was 25th on the Chelsea all-time appearances list, but the five appearances (three starts) he's made this season should now put him one ahead of Peter Houseman and level in 23rd with Marvin Hinton, both part of the legendary FA Cup and Cup Winner's Cup-winning Chelsea sides of the early '70s. At this rate, top 20 is easily attainable.
Unless of course he leaves in January, which looks probably as likely as it's looked in previous seasons. That is to say, not likely at all. Over the summer, Mikel made his intentions very clear to see out his contract, which has another season to run after the current one. He's a trusted Mourinho soldier, usually deployed in that classic shutdown-closer role that he's become known for. Despite our squad's struggles and need to upgrade several positions including the midfield, Mikel's likely to stick around and play his specialized role just as he has for many seasons.