Valencia are confident of landing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel in the January transfer window but face opposition from others, according to reports in Spain.
Los Che have prioritised strengthening several positions this summer after discussions between boss Cesare Prandelli and owner Peter Lim, with the signing of a holding midfielder reported to be among the top priorities.
Plaza Deportiva follow up reports from ESPN that the club have targeted the Nigerian Mikel, who looks certain to leave Stamford Bridge next month, but that they face stiff competition from Olympique Marseille and Inter Milan for his signature, while a big money move to China has not yet been ruled out.
The 29-year-old has not played at all for Chelsea this season under new manager Antonio Conte and with his contract expiring in six months time, the London club are prepare to sell him at a bargain price in the coming transfer window – with reports that he fell out with the club after deciding to represent Nigeria at the Olympics.
“I have never been a guy who makes excuses in life and never shy away from responsibilities,” he told The Sun.
“Yes, maybe people will say the new manager was upset I left and went to the Olympics, that I didn’t have a pre-season
“But I don’t want to use those excuses. I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. If not, then we’ll see what happens in January.
“But, no, I would never swap my Olympic medal for a place back in the Chelsea team.
“I have not one single regret in going to the Olympics. And I will not trade my medal for anything.”
The Nigerian has made 374 appearances for the club since joining from Norwegian side Lyn in 2006, scoring six times.