Former Golden Eaglets star, Emmanuel Sarki has made a startling revelation on how Chelsea used him to sign former Super Eagles midfielder, Mikel Obi in 2006.
In an interview with The Athletic, Sarki, who is currently on loan at Polish side Huragan Waksmund, disclosed that former Chelsea chief executive, Peter Kenyon, asked him to try and get Mikel to sign for the Blues.
Sarki was long on Chelsea’s books from 2006-2010 but never made an appearance for the first team.
He said: “Then, a few weeks in, Gwyn Williams told me Peter Kenyon wanted to talk to me at his office in Chelsea.
“I had not realised Kenyon had joined from Manchester United [as chief executive] — Mikel always spoke about him wanting to sign him at United — but Kenyon said, ‘Manu, I hear you and John Mikel are best friends. Can you find out what is happening with him and if he would be interested in coming to Chelsea?’.
“Mikel and I were always very close. We knew each other’s families really well and were roommates in the national team, so I rang him up back home in Nigeria and asked, ‘Bro, what’s going on? Why did you leave your trial at United?’.
“He told me about Antwerp in Belgium and how he didn’t want to go there, so I had to explain to him that he would not be able to sign a deal in England because we were all under 18.
“And, anyway, we would not qualify (for a work permit). ‘Without this, you cannot play here’.
“He had not understood that, but I told him I was there in London with Bala and Edu, and that, if he wanted, he could come and do a trial here too. ‘Are you sure? Stop pulling my leg’. I said I wasn’t!”
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago