John Obi Mikel set to stay at Chelsea after Oriel Romeu exit

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Football News

John Obi Mikel looks set to stay at Chelsea following the departure of teammate and fellow midfielder Oriel Romeu.

According to the latest reports from The Sun, Nigerian international Mikel - who made four appearances for his country this summer as they progressed to the second round of the World Cup for the first time since France 98 - was set to be offloaded by the Blues but will now fight for his position in Jose Mourinho's squad after Romeu joined Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart on a season-long loan deal earlier this week.

Mikel relief

Mikel will presumably be relived to be given the opportunity to remain at Chelsea, with many predicting that he would leave West London this summer.

An exit looked to be looming nearer for the former Lyn Oslo enforcer last month, with speculation suggesting that Chelsea had offered his services to several Serie A clubs for a fee of just £5 million.

Competition for places will be fiercer than ever for Mikel now, however, despite the departure of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard following the expiration of his contract at the end of last season.

New signing Cesc Fabregas - who joined Chelsea from Barcelona on a five-year contract in June - is likely to partner January signing Nemanja Matic in the heart of Mourinho's midfield, with only an injury to one of that aforementioned pair likely to result in Mikel receiving the opportunity to start.

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Romeu future

Quite whether Romeu has reason to hope for a prosperous future at Chelsea remains to be seen.

The 22-year-old moved to the club from Barca back in 2011 and made a handful of appearances in two injury-stricken seasons before being returning to his homeland for a loan spell with La Liga outfit Valencia.

After making 13 appearances in total at the Mestalla, rumours were rife that Valencia wanted to bring him in on a permanent deal.

Despite this, Chelsea, rather than look to sell Romeu, secured his long-term future on a new three-year contract earlier this month.

Such a move left fans wondering if Romeu would be given an opportunity to compete for a place in Mourinho's first-team this season, although his subsequent departure to Germany appears to suggest that he has more work to do before that can happen again.

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