Former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, has finally revealed why he snubbed Manchester United and signed for Chelsea in 2006.
Mikel, who spent 11 trophy-laden years at Stamford Bridge after signing from Norwegian club, Lyn Oslo, disclosed that he joined Cheslea because the futures of three other Nigerian players were tied to the deal.
Before his move to Chelsea,the midfieder first had an agreement in principle with Chelsea, but was tricked into penning a deal with Manchester United and had even spoken to Sir Alex Ferguson on the phone.
This led to a legal battle between Lyn Oslo, Man Utd and Chelsea, while FIFA also intervened.
At the end, Mikel eventually signed for Chelsea, who paid a compensation fee of £12m to Manchester United and £4m to Lyn.
During that period, three of Mikel Obi’s teammates at U-20 level, Chinedu Obasi, Emmanuel Sarki and Ezekiel Bala, were also undergoing trials at Stamford Bridge.
Mikel Obi, who currently plays for Kuwait SC, told The Athletic: “When I chose Chelsea, it wasn’t just my life that changed.
“There were four lives that changed. Why? Because if I didn’t, Chelsea might not have anything to do with my three friends. I was close to them. I knew their families.
“I didn’t just make the decision for myself. I thought about them, I thought about their families. This gave them more of a chance.”