Super Eagles’ captain, John Mikel Obi has joined the array of Nigerian players seeking new clubs this summer, following the shock decision by Middlesbrough of England not to renew his short-term contract.
Though Mikel cut off some credible marks during his five-month deal at The Riverside, even getting to captain the club on six occasions, he has been declared surplus to requirements because of their inability to gain promotion back to the English Premier League.
Indeed, Mikel inspired the second-tier club’s team within just a point of the promotion play-off spot, falling by the odd number behind Derby County, but his wages might have scared off Middlesbrough, who have now confirmed his departure.
In their review of the 2018/19 season, Middlesbrough published their list of released players on Thursday and Mikel ws named among four of the stars that will have to move on this summer.
Mikel, who came out of contract and The Riverside with the last kick off the campaign has not been offered a new deal, along with the trio of Stewart Downing, Dimi Konstantopoulos and Andy Lonergan.
During his time with Middlesbrough, which he joined in January, after terminating his contract with Tianjin Teda of China, Mikel made a total of 19 appearances in all competitions, and scored a single goal on the final day of the season in a victory against Semi Ajayi’s Rotherham United.
Mikel, who wore Boro’s captain’s armband in the last six matches in the Championship season, has already attracted summer transfer interest from a couple of clubs in the EPL.
A report by ESPN stated earlier this month that Mikel is considering multiple offers from clubs in the English top-flight, including newly-promoted Norwich City and Sheffield United.
The report claimed that the Eagles’ captain could make a decision before heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations early next month in Egypt.
The 32-year-old midfielder, who left Chelsea on a free transfer to Tianjin Teda in 2017, after spending ten years at Stamford Bridge is said to have attracted keen attention with his exploits in Nigeria matches for Boro.
A source told ESPN: “There are some options right now for Mikel Obi, and a few more we expect to see over the coming days.
“Once all the options are on the table, he will make a decision. He will most likely make the decision before the Africa Cup of Nations finals, although that will depend on what is on the table.”