Chelsea finalising five-year deal for midfield star
Chelsea News: Blues midfielder John Obi-Mikel set to sign new deal at Stamford Bridge
The Nigerian international has become a regular starter for Chelsea this term under Roberto di Matteo, playing in all eight of the Blues' Premier League games to date as well as their three Champions League encounters.
Now the 25-year-old is set to be rewarded for his efforts with a new five year deal which should be finalised soon, according to his agent John Shittu.
"Mikel will soon sign a new five-year contract with an improved salary and we are just about finalising the details of it," he told the Sun.
"Mikel is one of Chelsea's most consistent performers and the club agrees with us he deserves a new and improved contract.
"He has a year left and Chelsea have decided to add four more years to it."
Mikel has come in for some criticism in the past for failing to live up to expectations following his high-profile switch from Lyn Oslo in 2006, which resulted in a controversial tug-of-war between Chelsea and Manchester United.
However Di Matteo believes the combative midfielder is now showing the form that persuaded Chelsea to splash the cash six years ago – even if he doesn’t get the praise he deserves in his defensive role.
“It’s a thankless task really [playing defensive midfield] — and I understand because I played in that role myself a little bit,” the Italian said earlier this month.
“It’s a role that is important for the team and his team-mates and the management team understand and appreciate it.
“Maybe the fans are more focused on the more creative players and goalscorers, but that role is vital in our team,” he added.
Despite his recent good form, Mikel couldn't stop Chelsea succumbing to their first competitive defeat since August last night as they went down 2-1 against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.