Premier League giants Chelsea are set to undergo a massive overhaul this summer. On the back of a horrid title defence last campaign and various issues off the pitch, the Blues aim for a new beginning under the management of Antonio Conte.
The incoming Italian boss is currently on the cusp of ending his commitments with the national team and will join the west London side after the conclusion of Euro 2016 in France.
In the meantime, the club officials have already begun preparations for 2016-17 with quality transfers high up on their agenda.
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Though there is bound to be arrivals over the next few months, several players futures is still an uncertainty at Stamford Bridge.
LONG TERM STAY
John Obi Mikel who has spent ten years at the club where he arrived in a rather controversial way back in 2006, is on the verge of requesting crunch talks with the hierarchy.
Recent seasons under manager Jose Mourinho saw him playing second fiddle to first-choice stars like Nemanja Matic and former Blue, Ramires.
However, with the appointment of Guus Hiddink on an interim basis, Mikel revived his status to some extent. He was the preferred choice ahead of the Serbian midfielder who had kept him sidelined in previous seasons.
The Nigeria international launched an attack on Mourinho after his departure from the club in late last year which can be presumed due to the lack of opportunities he had under the Portuguese tactician, according to Daily Mail. He disclosed that there was a stark contrast in the atmosphere, which is of a more relaxed nature under Hiddink.
Mikel may have only scored six goals in 372 appearances spanning over ten years, but has still managed to be in the reckoning among all managers who took charge of the former English champions during the period.
NOT A FAN FAVOURITE
Although, there would not be any serious repercussions from the Blues faithful if he was to leave west London any time soon.
Evening Standard reports that Mikel is considering quitting the club if he is not assured of first-team football under Conte, with various clubs in the Chinese Super League and Turkish Superliga -as well as offers from the Middle East - seemingly his likely destinations in future.
Chelsea are vying to bring in the services of Roma ace Radja Nainggolan this summer which puts Mikel’s situation in further jeopardy.
The 29-year-old admitted that in order to prolong his professional career he has to feature regularly and does not want to be among the fringe members of the squad any longer.
VIABLE TRANSFER FEE
Contracted with the west London outfit until 2017, as per Transfermarkt.com, the club’s valuation is just around £10million for the defensive-minded midfielder which is feasible for most big European clubs at present. Chelsea might not be inclined to enter negotiations with league rivals but could entertain offers from abroad.
Scrutinising all possible scenarios, it is best for all parties concerned that Mikel is allowed to quit the club as early as this summer, as that would free up space for Conte’s transfer targets to rejuvenate Chelsea in the long run.
The issue will hopefully be sorted by the time the Blues begin their pre-season in July after the 46-year-old boss arrives in the capital to reinvigorate the beleaguered squad.
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