13 years after signing for Chelsea in a controversial transfer captain of the senior national team of Nigeria John Obi Mikel has sensationally revealed he actually signed for Manchester United.
Mikel in an interview with UK based Sun Newspapers said he had a month trial at Man United before signing a provisional contract at the age of 15, which was later upgraded when he turned 18.
‘He would call me into his office after training, point at the players’ plush cars in the car park and say: “If you work hard, next year you’ll be driving one of those. You are going to play for this club and you are going to be rich”.
Despite signing the dotted lines for Manchester United, a meeting between his agent and then coach of Chelsea Jose Mourinho changed the complexion of things regarding his next career move.
” Roman Abramovich organised six cars to get me there. It was like a military operation. I started in one car, then the drivers would talk to each other and suddenly I was dropped off and then picked up by another car.
‘Once there, Jose told me: “The boss really wants you. I’ll play you and make you what you want to be”. That really helped as there were times when I thought: “Have I made the right decision?”,’ Mikel told the Sun.
During the long wait for his future to be decided by FIFA, Mikel revealed Barcelona were waiting to pounce if FIFA ruled against Man United or Chelsea, but Chelsea later got their man after agreeing to compensate Man United with £12m aside the the £4m they paid his then club Lyn Oslo.
“I had Barca waiting to pounce if the legal wrangle couldn’t be sorted, but felt obliged to sign for Chelsea as they’d looked after me,’.