John Obi Mikel is set to reject a substantial pay increase in the Chinese Super League to remain in Europe.
The 29-year old is expected to leave Chelsea next month with his contract winding up next summer, and there has been interest from China for the midfielder, with Chinese club Shanghai SIPG ready to pay him £170,000 a week — £100,000 a week more than he is on now at Stamford Bridge.
However, it believed the Nigeria international will turn down the move, as he gets set to sign for French club Marseille instead. Shanghai SIPG is the same club who are set to buy his Chelsea team-mate Oscar for £60million.
Mikel is yet to feature for Chelsea this term, and has not even made any of their matchday squads, as the Blues continue to impress in the Premier League.
But it is understood Mikel is thinking about staying in Europe to play in a competitive league and add to his medal collection, rather than boost his earnings in a weaker competition, reports standard.co.uk.
Already, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has confirmed that Mikel is in negotiations with the French club and Marseille have equally been interested in him for a while and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is believed to have offered him a contract, which is likely to be worth less than he gets at Stamford Bridge.