Speculation that began at the end of last season, as Guus Hiddink completed his second interim stint in charge of Chelsea and the winds of Conte-change began to pick up, has now become officially official. Mikel John Obi, known as John Mikel Obi for most of his Chelsea career, is a Chelsea player no more, with the club confirming his transfer to Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA today.
John Mikel Obi has today moved to Chinese side Tianjin TEDA following 10-and-a-half years with the Blues... https://t.co/lNUKRabQTK— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 6, 2017
Mikel leaves Chelsea after a decade of trophy-filled service, including that most famous night in Munich in 2012, which will no doubt be remembered as his greatest game in a Blues shirt.
In light of his dedicated service, Chelsea have agreed to let him go for free six months before the official expiration of his contract. Mikel's still just 29, as hard as that may be to believe for someone who had practically become part of the furniture at Stamford Bridge, and he has many years left in professional football. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future.
Mikel becomes the second Chelsea players to leave for China this month, joining Oscar in the cash-rich playground that is the Chinese Super League. Former Chelsea players Ramires and Demba Ba are also playing there nowadays.
Best of luck to Mikel, and all the rest!