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John Obi Mikel puts Chelsea contract talks on hold

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Just as his Chelsea career looked to be winding down, John Obi Mikel's resurgence under Guus Hiddink had started to lead to contract extension rumors.  While they were not confirmed at the time, it did make sense to tie down the loyal, ten-year veteran, especially with the recent need for new leaders to emerge at the club.

But, even before Chelsea's elimination from this and next season's Champions League, these contract talks have apparently been put on hold.

"Chelsea have approached him for an extension of his contract but he said after the season he'll decide. He has so many teams interested in him, almost three clubs in China want him."

-John Shittu, agent; source: The Sun

Almost three?  Is there a half-team interested, too?

In any case , this could just be negotiating tactics, or perhaps Mikel's waiting to see how the managerial situation shakes out before committing.  Then again, in a way, Chelsea should be holding off on any and all contract talks until deciding on a new manager.

So I suppose we'll see in the summer.  Mikel will have one more year left on his contract after this season: decision time.

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