The Nigerian midfielder has been without a club since departing Turkish side Trabzonspor in March, but a rumoured move to Brazil may no longer be in the works
Botafogo’s commercial and marketing vice president, Ricardo Rotenberg, has confirmed that the Brazilian club was interested in signing former Chelsea ace, John Obi Mikel.
He, however, reveals that despite his affection for the Nigerian star, the experienced defensive midfielder would not be joining up with the Serie A side as the club is satisfied with their transfer dealings ahead of the new season.
With the 2020-21 Brazilian league season set to kick-off in August, Botafogo looked to add more international spice to coach Paulo Autuori’s team and were for a while linked with the African duo of Mikel and ex-Barcelona powerhouse Yaya Toure.
Mikel, one of Nigeria’s most decorated footballers ever, has been a free agent after ending his association with Trabzonspor during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in Turkey.
But the former Super Eagles skipper and Botafogo couldn’t reach an agreement during negotiations with the Lone Star proceeding to sign Ivory Coast’s Samuel Kalou and Japan’s Keisuke Honda instead.
Rotenberg insists that the two-time Campeonato Brasileiro Série A champions have a lot of respect for Mikel but that they have concluded their dealings in the international transfer market.
“Obi Mikel is no longer looking to come to Botafogo, regardless of the salary issue,” he told TF Channel, as per GazetaEsportiva.
“We have already brought two foreigners who played a long time in European football, one Asian and the other African. We’re satisfied.
“Ibi Mikel is no longer interested in Botafogo, despite being a great player and incredible personality. I liked him a lot, but he won’t come.”
Obi Mikel, a winner of the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League with Chelsea, has previously spent time playing in Norway, China and Turkey.