Twitter is abuzz this morning with news that Chelsea's John Obi Mikel might be on his way to Turkey. The rumor started in the Turkish press today, but I'm going to link you to an English translation due to the fact the Google Translate and Turkish don't tend to do so well together:
Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi has given his word to Turkish champions Galatasaray he wishes to join them. Galatasaray sporting director Bulent Tulun said Mikel has agreed in principle to join them, according to a leading Turkey football website fotomac.
Yikes. Sounds like Mikel is looking to move on, doesn't it? Not so fast though, as one of the best journos covering African football actually spoke with Mikel about it:
Just got a call from Mikel re Galatasaray. Says he is aware of the interest, but has not agreed anything yet: 'Nothing like that.'— Colin Udoh (@ColinUdoh) June 14, 2013
My take from that Mikel convo is that if Chelsea and Gala agree, he will not be averse to a move if the money is right— Colin Udoh (@ColinUdoh) June 14, 2013
When I spoke to Shittu (Mikel's manager) last week, he told me its up to Chelsea. But only if Gala stumped up some stupid money— Colin Udoh (@ColinUdoh) June 14, 2013
That seems more reasonable, as Mikel would be a pretty fantastic addition to a club like Gala. After two of our last three managers turned Mikel into a part time player, it would make sense that he'd catch the eye of clubs from abroad looking to add unwanted talent to their squads.
It also sort of squashes the notion that Mikel is looking for a move, if the new contract he signed that runs until 2017 wasn't enough to do so for you already. It sounds as if he'd be open to a move if Chelsea no longer see him in their future, and that's about the extent of this.
I don't think many reasonable fans would argue that the club could not improve upon Mikel in their starting lineup, and likewise, most reasonable fans will also concede that he's still a very useful player that has been an excellent servant to the club. I'm certainly hoping that Chelsea have absolutely no interest in selling, as he's a solid player in a position we're not the deepest at, and he's been a class act since joining the club during Mourinho's first go-around. That said, if Gala want to stump up 'stupid money', I'd probably have to think long and hard about it.