Football

Chelsea star plays down exit talk

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John Obi Mikel has refuted claims he came close to leaving Chelsea for Galatasaray in the summer, reports the Metro.

Reports throughout the summer suggested Mikel was on the verge of moving to the Turkish outfit.

Mikel would have joined former Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba in Istanbul if he had decided to leave the Premier League for last season's Süper Lig winners.

However Nigeria international Mikel has insisted rumours of him coming close to leaving Chelsea are wide of the mark.

Mikel said: "I don’t know anything about that. That’s what you get in transfer windows: speculation, speculation.

"I was in the Confederations Cup so didn’t have a good pre-season, I knew it would be tough to get back into the team."

Mikel has had to make do with a place on the substitutes' bench for the majority of the season, as Jose Mourinho has often opted to play Ramires alongside Frank Lampard in the heart of Chelsea's midfield.

Blues manager Mourinho did however hand Mikel a rare Premier League start on Saturday - as Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners against West Ham United - and the 26-year-old has revealed his delight at his side's performance.

"The way we played on Saturday was exactly the way the manager wants us to play," added Mikel.

"You could say the real Chelsea is back. We’re playing with lots of confidence. The manager is giving lots of confidence to the team.

"Tomorrow [against Basel] is going to be tough but we want to come out full of confidence, play well, win, get the three points and, hopefully, we’ll qualify."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
John Obi Mikel
Chelsea

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