Mikel reveals selfless reasons for choosing Chelsea over Man United

first_img 3 3 Mikel finally joined Chelsea in 2006 3 Mikel’s trophy-laden career lasted 11 years “FIFA said: ‘Listen, we know you’re young and you have these two clubs fighting over you. We can’t decide for you. You can only go where you want. You have to tell us.’“You know what made my mind up? Chelsea had signed three other players from Nigeria along with me. They were staying with me at the house in London to keep me company. These guys …  their lives depended on the decision I was making.“If I went to United, they were gone. If I went to Chelsea, they were going to have a career. No matter how long it lasted, that was important to me. Just to give them a chance, you know?“I chose Chelsea, and four lives changed that day.”United agreed to terminate their agreement and the Blues got their man, though had to pay their rivals £12m, with £4m going to Lyn Oslo.Mikel remained at the club for 11 years and won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup, the Champions League and Europa League.center_img John Obi Mikel has revealed why his decision to join Chelsea instead of Manchester United in 2006 changed lives.His was a drawn out transfer that ended up costing the Blues £16million – more than they would have liked to spend – with the young Nigerian initially agreeing to join United from Lyn Oslo in Norway. He even posed in the shirt. At one stage it looked like Mikel was off to Man United However, Chelsea claimed they had an agreement, too, and Mikel said Stamford Bridge is where he wanted to be.Fergie wasn’t impressed. “I don’t believe it’s true that Mikel doesn’t want to join Manchester United; I believe he has been forced to say it,” he said.“His family have been put under huge pressure and the circumstances are very sad. The manner in which he and his family have been treated and pressurised is, quite frankly, disgusting.”Writing in theplayerstribune, Mikel says it’s something he still gets asked about more than 10 years on.“My Dad wasn’t too pleased about what happened either,” he said. “He wanted me to go to Manchester United because he loved Alex Ferguson. Back home in Nigeria, a lot of people were saying I should go to United because of how well they work with young players, whereas Chelsea just bought superstars.”He was just 18 and was being pulled in various directions.“I had Sir Alex Ferguson calling me on the phone on one side. And I had Roman Abramovich on the other side, putting me up in London, hiding me somewhere where only a few people knew where I was. It was really confusing, and I was a kid, you know?”A decision needed to be made. He now plays for Chinese clubs Tianjin TEDA.last_img read more