Erstwhile Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has revealed why he had to sign for Chelsea in 2006 instead.
The ex-Stoke City star had initially signed for Manchester United but later claimed he was forced to sign for the Red Devils.
As a result, it created a legal battle between Lyn Oslo, Man Utd and Chelsea, which left Mikel’s career in limbo as he was out of action for six months.
Chelsea paid a compensation fee of £12m to Manchester United and £4m to Lyn for Mikel.
The former Nigerian international has now revealed that he signed for Chelsea to save the futures of three other Nigerians that were at the club then.
Mikel revealed if he had not signed for the Blues, Chelsea would have ended the trials of three players: Chinedu Obasi, Emmanuel Sarki and Ezekiel Bala.
“When I chose Chelsea, it wasn’t just my life that changed,” Mikel told The Athletic.
“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,” he added.
But despite Mikel’s gesture, the three players would go their separate ways in subsequent months as Chelsea did not offer them a contract.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago