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National team coach confirms Chelsea midfielder in ‘advanced discussions’ with Marseille

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A question of when, rather than if.

Chelsea v Manchester City - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The real question isn’t if Mikel John Obi is leaving Chelsea, but when Mikel John Obi is leaving Chelsea. The long-time midfielder’s contract will be allowed to expire in the summer, but he’s free to discuss moves for January as well, and presumably Chelsea would even allow him to leave on a free as a token of appreciation for his great service to the club over the past decade.

Despite not playing at all at club level, Mikel has retained his position as Nigeria national team captain and it his head coach for the Super Eagles who has now shed light on just what the 29-year-old’s next move might be.

"I saw Obi Mikel in London. He is in advanced discussions with Olympique Marseille. He will leave Chelsea for free. This is a serious option."

-Gernot Rohr; source: Europe 1 via FourFourTwo

The Marseille rumors aren’t new, so that part checks out, and perhaps are a more appealing option than any other from China or Turkey regardless of moneys involved. Either way, with the January transfer window coming up in a couple weeks, we’ll probably have clarity soon in the Mikel situation.