Chelsea are poised to tell Mikel John Obi that this is his last season at Stamford Bridge after a decade at the club.
Mikel’s contract expires in the summer and sources at the club have told Standard Sport they will not be giving him a new one.
Nigeria's John Obi Mikel reacts during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's football semifinal match against Germany at the Corinthains Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on August 17, 2016.
The 29-year-old midfielder, who joined from Lyn Oslo in 2006, has not been in a matchday squad this term. He was able to work under Antonio Conte for only a week during pre-season because he was with Nigeria at the Rio Olympics.
Since returning in late August, Mikel has fallen behind Nemanja Matic, N’Golo Kante, Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the pecking order and is not a part of Conte’s plans.
Conte revealed that Mikel had been out with a minor injury in September but he has not been recalled since resuming training last month. Mikel will be able to talk to foreign clubs in January over a free transfer in the summer but he could leave in the new year if a club make a bid. That would bring the curtain down on a career at Chelsea spanning 378 appearances.
Mikel has won 10 major trophies at Chelsea, including two Premier League titles, the Europa League and the biggest prize of all, the Champions League in 2012.
Marseille are considering making a move for him and there is also interest from clubs in the Chinese Super League, America’s MLS and the Middle East. Mikel is the latest big name set to leave Chelsea.
They are listening to offers for Cesc Fabregas, while Branislav Ivanovic is also in the final year of his deal and is not expecting a new one.
As Standard Sport revealed earlier in the week, Ivanovic’s priority is to join a club from the capital. But AC Milan have added him to their wish-list for a January transfer and will look to change his mind.