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Clarifying John Obi Mikel's €35m price tag and Fenerbahce's interest

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Or the importance of considering wages.

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Well, it certainly made for a fun headline, but apparently something got lost in translation when Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim supposedly claimed that Chelsea were asking for €35m for John Obi Mikel.  What Yildirim was apparently talking about was the total financial burden on Fenerbahce, rather than the actual price tag.

"Chelsea want €15 million and Mikel asked for €5 million a season over four years. We are talking €35 million."

-source: Aziz Yildirim; source: BBC

It's something that's rarely done in the current state of football media, but, especially in these FFP-days of extra attention to club finances, describing player costs purely in terms of transfer fees is becoming increasingly inadequate.

Gary Cahill often comes to mind for me when talking about such things.  We are often lauded for getting him on the cheap at just £7m or so.  But we gave him an £80k/week contract (£4m+ per year) for five-and-a-half years, for a total financial commitment of roughly £30m.  For a player who was expected to be a backup at the time of his signing (coming in as the replacement for Alex), that struck a sour note for many.

In any case, the €35m total commitment for Mikel is far too much for Fener.  Not only would he become their record signing at €15m, the wages he's supposedly requesting make this deal completely untenable.

"This definitely is not something we can pursue."

-source: Aziz Yildirim; source: BBC

This is one of the reasons the previously reported interest from Abu Dhabi's Al-Ain seemed more likely to actually become reality.  Certainly no problems there with financing.  (Interestingly, perhaps, Al-Ain did just complete the signing of Mikel's international teammate Emmanuel Emenike on loan from Fenerbahce.)