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Mikel preparing Chelsea exit, claims agent

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Although we haven't heard concrete rumours of upgrades in central midfield yet this summer, I think Chelsea fans can be fairly certain that something will be going down before the start of the season. Right now the midfield is primed to take on weaker sides, struggling to dominate matches against tougher competition, and in order to fix that some upgrading is probably necessary.

John Obi Mikel, then, might not be part of Chelsea's new look, and Nigerian agent Babawo Mohammed claims that he's looking for an escape route:

Mikel has agreed personal terms with Al Ain and it is now left for Chelsea and the Dubai club to agree on a transfer fee. He has returned to England to communicate all these to Chelsea. We just have to wait and see what Chelsea say in this regard.

-Source: AfricanFootball.com.

If true -- and I'm not really seeing a reason it wouldn't be, although these stories are best taken with bags of salt, especially considering that Mikel's main agent, John Shittu, hasn't said anything yet -- I'd say that's a pretty great landing spot for Mikel. His play's never been properly appreciated by Chelsea fans, a large subset of whom have literally no idea how midfields are supposed to work, but as a multiple Premier League and Champions League winner he should be able to get a huge payday from Al Ain no matter how her's perceived by supporters.

Mikel's obviously still a useful piece for this Chelsea side, but we no longer play with a pure defensive midfielder and the potential partnership with Nemanja Matic against tougher opposition isn't quite as dynamic as it needs to be. If he has better opportunities elsewhere, letting him go is probably the right choice.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.