Mikel rejected £53k from agent in crazy transfer pursuit

Date published: Thursday 9th November 2017 11:23

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed that he was offered $70,000 (£53,000) by one agent in an attempt to sign him as a teenager.

Mikel was just out of school when clubs from across Europe – and in particular Chelsea and Manchester United – started showing a lot of interest in him.

Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona were also among his admirers and the Nigerian international claims that an anonymous agent approached him with a briefcase full of cash in an attempt to get him to sign for an unnamed club.

“I had agents promising me everything,” the 30-year-old has told The Sun. “One approached me in the hotel with a briefcase full of cash.

“I can’t remember what club he claimed to represent – but I do remember the briefcase. It was crammed with $70,000 and he offered me that to sign some contract before adding: ‘Sign here and you’ll get a lot more’.

“I was tempted. I’d never seen so much money but I told the Nigerian FA secretary who was looking after me.

“He told me to ignore this agent but promised I would join the best club. After the tournament, I went home to my family and then saw the secretary again in Abuja.

“That’s when he told me: ‘You’re going to United. They want you and you’re leaving tomorrow’. My dad was so happy but mum was crying because I was moving abroad at such a young age.”

Mikel, who was playing for Norwegian side Lyn Oslo at the time, eventually signed for Chelsea in 2006 after he had agreed a provisional deal with Man United in 2005.

The Blues reportedly had to pay £12million in compensation to the Red Devils to see the deal through.

 

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