Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Al Ain reportedly making play for Chelsea’s Nigeria star John Obi Mikel

An African football website on Friday reported the representatives of John Obi Mikel were to meet with Al Ain officials about possibly pairing the Nigerian with Asamoah Gyan at the UAE champions.
Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, right, embraces teammate Loic Remy after Remy's goal against Sydney FC in a friendly on Tuesday in Australia. Dan Himbrechts / EPA / June 2, 2015
Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, right, embraces teammate Loic Remy after Remy's goal against Sydney FC in a friendly on Tuesday in Australia. Dan Himbrechts / EPA / June 2, 2015

DUBAI // John Obi Mikel, the Chelsea midfielder, could be on his way to joining Asamoah Gyan at Al Ain next season, according to media reports in the Nigerian’s home country.

The AfricanFootball.com website has claimed Mikel’s representatives were scheduled to open negotiations with Al Ain over the weekend for a possible transfer of the Nigerian star to the Arabian Gulf League.

Mikel, 28, has been with the English Premier League giants Chelsea since moving to the London club in 2006 from Norway’s Lyn Fotball and his current contract runs until June, 2017. But AfricanFootball.com claims the Nigeria international “is now considering his future away from Stamford Bridge after playing a bit role in the past two seasons”.

“Mikel’s representatives will begin discussions with Al Ain on Friday in Dubai over a possible transfer,” the website quoted a source close to the player as saying. “The player has sanctioned the meeting and may even be part of it. It is now left to be seen what the club will put on the table for him.”

Read more: The National’s Transfer Talk page

Christophe Mandanne, a Frenchman of Ghanaian origin, could also be plying his trade in the UAE next season with Fujairah reportedly keen on signing him as Boubacar Sanogo’s replacement.

The Toulouse-born Mandanne, 30, has never played outside France, starting his career at Le Havre and then playing for Tours, Dijon and Reims before signing for his current club Guingamp in 2012.

According to sources at the club, Mandanne’s name has been recommended by the Fujairah coach Ivan Hasek, who knows the player from his time coaching at French clubs.

Dibba Al Fujairah, meanwhile, have picked Brazilian Sergio Alexandre as their coach for the next season after being linked with former Al Wahda manager Ahmed Abdulhalim of Egypt and Tunisian Fathi Al Jabal.

Egyptian Tariq Elsayed, who led Dibba to the Division One title last season, will be Sergio’s assistant, with the Brazilian expected to arrive in the country in the first week of July to start on his new job.

Sergio, 48, has worked with a number of clubs in the UAE since 2003, including Al Shaab, who he helped gain promotion to the top division through the play-offs in 2012/13, when the league was expanded to 14 teams from 12.

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Updated: June 6, 2015 04:00 AM

SHARE

SHARE

Editor's Picks