Italian giants Inter Milan are set to make a summer bid for Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, according to reports.

The Nigerian has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge this season, and is expected to leave.

The Blues signed the holding-midfielder back in 2006 for £16million, after snatching him from under the noses of rivals Manchester United, which sparked a legal case due to the both clubs believing that they had captured the 27-year-old.

After eventually confirming the deal with Mikel's former-club Lyn Oslo, the Nigerian has since gone on to make over 200 appearances for the west London club, after seemingly replacing legendary holding-midfielder Claude Makelele, once he left the club two years later in 2008.

However, Mikel then started to face serious competition in the Chelsea line-up, with the likes of Michael Essien and Ramires all fighting for the defensive-midfield spot, and even more recently, Mikel has fallen further down the pecking order.

Since Jose Mourinho has come back from Real Madrid, the 27-year-old has only managed to make 10 starts for the Blues and his exit from the club is expected this summer.

If reports are to be believed, Mourinho could be willing to sell around 15 first-team players from the club in order to free up some wage-bill and also spend the money he makes from player sales on bringing new faces to the club.

As for Inter, they are desperate to strengthen their side this summer after a very disappointing season, and they have already started to add depth to the squad by signing Nemanja Vidic on a free from Manchester United.

The Italian side are now keen to sign more experienced players in order to find a way back into the Champions League after their mid-table finish this year, and Mikel could be another man ready to make the switch from the Premier League to Serie A.

Erick Thohir, who is the club's president, has admitted that his side will be busy this summer as he tries to attract some big-name signings to the club and due to Mikel's lack of first-team football at Stamford Bridge, the Nigerian could be set to join Vidic next season.

If Mikel's first-team chances were slim at the beginning of the season, they got even slimmer in January when Mourinho decided to re-sign Nemanja Matic from Benfica, and with Ramires and Frank Lampard also being deployed as  holding-midfielders, the Nigerian's game-time was getting more and more limited.

It isn't understood how much the 27-year-old will cost Inter, but Chelsea face making a big loss on the man they signed for £16million back in 2006.

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