Napoli are preparing a bid for Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, according to the Daily Express

Mikel could be surplus to requirements following the return of Jose Mourinho, and Chelsea have been linked with moves for Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira, who could both take Mikel's place in the team.

The Nigerian international has been at Chelsea for seven seasons, scoring just two goals in 277 appearances for the West London club.

Mikel was recently part of the Nigeria squad at the Confederations Cup. He has scored 4 goals in 51 caps for his country.

New Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has identified Mikel as part of his recruitment drive for the Italian club. Benitez is building a side capable of challenging Juventus for the Scudetto next season.

Benitez worked with Mikel during his short tenure as caretaker manager at the second half of last season.

Mikel was primarily used as a substitute last season, and was behind the pecking order with Frank Lampard, Ramires and David Luiz ahead of him.

Napoli are thought to want a loan deal with a view to a permanent deal at the end of next season.

Mikel, who has won the Champions League and Europa League during his time at Chelsea could be open to move.

The 26-year-old could be open a move to Napoli as a frest start in a different league in Italy. With the World Cup on the horizon, Mikel will want regular first team football.


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