Super Eagles star, John Mikel Obi, has stated that he is willing to remain at Chelsea till the end of his contract in 2017.
The Nigerian is now the second-longest serving player at Stamford Bridge, after captain John Terry.
It is something Jose Mourinho has noted on this pre-season trip, pointing out the pair are now the only players who bridge the gap between his trophy-laden first and second spells as Chelsea manager. He knows having a serial winner like Mikel around the group can only be beneficial.
Mourinho knows too what the 28-year-old can offer on the pitch, another reason why any rumours linking Mikel with a move away from west London can be dismissed.
‘I want to stay and the manager wants me to stay,’ said Mikel in an interview with the club’s official website. ‘I’ve got two years [on my contract] here and I’m happy.
‘I like to be somewhere where I have developed friends and family. It’s like my family here and every day I come to work it is like coming in to see my family. I know all the players and all the staff so it’s going to be a hard place to leave when my contract runs out but let’s see what happens. I want to see out my two years.’
Mikel played the first half of Chelsea match with New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, leaving the pitch at the break with the Blues 1-0 ahead. He created an excellent chance for a second with a fine long pass which was latched on to by his compatriot Victor Moses. The winger was mighty unlucky not to score with a dink that hit the post and not the net.
‘Overall it was a pretty good warm-up game but not the result we hoped for,’ was Mikel’s assessment afterwards.
‘We knew we needed to start the game well. I was in the dressing room having a shower at the beginning of the second half so I don’t know how we started but we obviously didn’t end the game well.
‘We are here to work hard, and we are here to train hard leading to the Community Shield and to the league. I think we’re on the right course. That game was just a one-off game and we know we need to go back to training, buckle up and know the season is starting soon.’
This is Mikel’s 10th pre-season at Chelsea, since he joined the club in 2006.