Chelsea have offered John Obi Mikel to Serie A clubs at a price of just £5 million, it has been claimed.
This is according to reports from The Daily Mail, which state that Italian sides suggest they have been presented with the opportunity to sign Mikel, a player who is likely to find regular first-team football very difficult to come by at Stamford Bridge next season.
Lack of opportunity
While it is unclear if any team registered a particular interest in Mikel during this process, it seems that it would be in the 27-year-old's best interests to attempt to engineer a departure from Chelsea in the near future.
Having already been largely behind the likes of Ramires and Nemanja Matic in the midfield pecking order in West London under the management of Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese's decision to sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona - as well as supposed pursuits of the likes of Paul Pogba and Sami Khedira - would suggest that Mikel is better off attempting to further his career elsewhere.
A competent, driven if somewhat unspectacular performer, Mikel - whose arrival at Chelsea from Norwegian second division outfit Lyn Oslo back in 2006 followed a most unsavoury and controversial dispute with Premier League rivals Manchester United - has won a plethora of silverware during his eight years with the club and should be capable of having an impact elsewhere.
Indeed, solid performances for his native Nigeria at the recent World Cup in a slightly more unfamiliar attacking role went a long way to demonstrating Mikel's considerably versatility, and this could certainly appeal to any potential transfer suitors.
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Inter Milan move?
One potential interested party from Italy could be Inter Milan, whose manager Walter Mazzarri seemingly hinted at a potential move for Mikel or Brazilian international Luiz Gustavo earlier this summer.
Inter - who have also been linked with another Chelsea player in Fernando Torres in recent months - finished fifth in Serie A last season and Mikel could provide them with a robust and experienced midfield presence to replace that of Esteban Cambiasso, with the ageing Argentinian having recently departed the San Siro after a decade of service following the expiration of his contract.
Champions Juventus - who have today appointed ex-AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri as a replacement for Antonio Conte - could also be on the lookout for midfield additions very soon, with Arturo Vidal and the aforementioned Pogba being chased by a number of European football's biggest heavyweights.