The former Super Eagles star is currently without a club after his contract with Trabzonspor was terminated on Tuesday.
This comes after Mikel complained about the decision of football authorities in Turkey to continue with the Super Lig despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The pandemic which has killed over 8,000 people has put several sporting competitions on hold as officials try to find a way to contain the virus.
Italy has the highest number of reported cases outside of China, and they are on total lockdown, They are not the only European country taking measures with several others, also declaring a full or partial lockdown.
Massive gatherings, schools and pubs are locked in some European countries. Several European Leagues are currently on suspension as a result of the epidemic, while the Champions League and Europa League have been postponed.
However, despite the measures being put in place by these countries, the Turkish top-flight is still in action, and Mikel showed his displeasure with the decision.
The former Nigeria international took to his Instagram page to express his discomfort and reportedly refused to play in Trabzonspor clash against Istanbul Basaksehir on Sunday.
As a result, his contract was terminated on Tuesday despite playing 27 games for Trabzonspor this campaign. The former Chelsea star who is one of Trabzonspor’s key players this season took to his Instagram page once again following the decision.
He revealed it’s a decision he had to take for his family, but thanked Trabzonspor fans, and also wished the club the best in their title charge.
But with Mikel now without a club, Soccernet takes a look at the options available for him.
It should be noted that Mikel has every right to decide not to play due to health concerns. After all, life is more important than football, and as a father twin daughters, the decision is probably the right one.
But then when the epidemic is defeated (hopefully), the Nigerian will be on a lookout for a new club. So what are the options available to him?
Stay in Turkey?
Although Mikel turns 33 in just a month, the former Super Eagles star still has at least two years left in him. While he may not have the strength to cope with the level of sides in Europe’s top five leagues, he should not have that problem in the Turkish top-flight.
The 32-year-old played 27 games in all competitions for Trabzonspor before leaving, and a lot of Turkish clubs will be willing to have him in their ranks should he decide to stay in the country.
A move back to England?
Mikel joined Trabzonspor last year after leaving English Championship side, Middlesbrough. He also spent 11 successful years with Chelsea, so he is familiar with English football.
Although he spent just six months at Riverside Stadium, Boro fans warmed up to him with many going far by calling him, “African Zidane.”
However, it is highly unlikely any of the topsides in England make a move for him, so a deal with one of the clubs battling relegation or championship sides is his best chance.
China or MLS?
These two leagues are considered as the retirement homes of Europe based players in the twilight of their careers. Mikel moved to China when he left Chelsea in 2017, but a return depends on the situation of the coronavirus.
The pandemic originated from China, so it will be difficult for Mikel to return given he left Trabzonspor due to the same issue.
But the ex-Super Eagles star may want to try a new adventure by playing in the States. He won’t be short of offers from Major League Soccer (MLS) sides, but it depends on his decision.
David Beckham’s new club, Inter Miami are making their debut in the league, and they could use the experience of a player like Mikel.
While it is hard to see him move to Russia right now as the country’s top division is still on, Mikel could move to the Eastern part of Europe for family reasons.
Mikel’s wife, Olga Diyachenko, is from that side of Europe, and that could play a part in Mikel’s decision to sign for one of these Russian clubs.
The last option, but highly unlikely. At the age of 32, Mikel has won almost everything in football bar the World Cup. So the former Lyn Oslo man may decide he has had enough, and hang up his boots to spend more time with his family.
Possible, but highly unlikely though.