Soccer News of Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Ghana superstar Asamoah Gyan understands that John Obi Mikel will ‘definitely’ be switching to United Arab Emirates side Al Ain this summer, with the midfielder having been linked heavily with a transfer away from Chelsea.
The Nigeria midfielder moved to Stamford Bridge in 2006, and has since become one of the most successful African stars of his generation.
However, his time with the Pensioners looks to be coming to an end, with both Al Ain and Turkish giants Fenerbahce linked with a move for the Super Eagle, according to the Express.
Speaking to Metro TV [via the National], Gyan has expressed his desire for Mikel to come and join him in Abu Dhabi.
“I heard it this week that he has agreed terms with Al Ain and will most definitely be playing for us next season,” the striker began, “it’s great news for us because Mikel Obi is a very good player and very experienced.
“It will be exciting playing with him in the same team, because I believe both of us, with the help of our other colleagues, can do more for the club.”
The striker’s success in the Middle East, since leaving Premier League Sunderland in 2011 may well encourage Mikel to consider a switch to the UAE.
Gyan is a three-time UAE Pro League champion, having won his most-recent domestic crown earlier this year. He also won the President’s Cup in 2014, as well as the Arabian Gulf Super Cup in 2012.
On an individual level, the forward is a three-time UAE Pro League Top Scorer, while he also won the golden boot in the AFC Champions League in 2014.
However, the striker is yet to lift the grandest continental club prize in Asian football, and his wait will continue, with the UAE giants having been dumped out of this year’s competition by fierce rivals Al-Ahli in the Round of 16.
Mikel has struggled for first-team football since his mentor Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese coach brought Nemanja Matic to Stamford Bridge, but the Serbian’s arrival has further reduced the midfielder’s playing time.
This season, the 28-year-old managed only six starts in the EPL as the Blues lifted the English championship.