Mikel’s move to Chelsea is one of the most controversial deals to ever go down in the transfer market, and he has shed some light on it
Mikel was one of the biggest products from the 2005 Under-20 World Cup in Netherlands. Then operating as an attacking midfielder, he was only second to legendary Argentine Lionel Messi.
After the World Cup, the jostle for Mikel’s signature was a tough one as various sides were interested in signing him. However, the two major teams in the mix were Manchester United and Chelsea.
Manchester United unveiled Mikel, announcing that they had signed him from Lyn Oslo, in a deal worth £4million.
However, Chelsea promptly revealed that they already had an agreement with Mikel and his representatives.
At first, Lyn Oslo denied it, but news later emerged that the club did have an agreement in place with Chelsea and that Jose Mourinho, who was their manager was a fan of the player.
Mikel has shed light on the issue, revealing some of the things that happened in the background while Manchester United and Chelsea were fighting for his signature.
“I signed a pre-contract with Manchester United,” Mikel told Dubaieye per One Jobless boy.
“But before that, I was living in Norway and playing for Lyn Oslo and it was Chelsea that actually sent me to Lyn Oslo.
“Nobody knew that I was there and Chelsea were taking care of me and my family, giving me bits here and there, and they were paying my school fees.
“I had my trials with Manchester United before I went to Chelsea. Ferguson loved me, the players loved me.
“Roy Keane was my biggest fan, he told the gaffer to sign me. He was my protector in training, whenever Paul Scholes tackled me hard, he always stood up for me.
“Then they heard that I had gone to Chelsea and Chelsea had taken me to Norway. Then Fergie flew to Norway and handed me a pre-contract.
‘He said he was willing to match anything that Chelsea was offering me at the time.
“I was just 17, and I was star-struck because it was Fergie. So I signed the contract, then the whole thing went viral.
“Then Chelsea came in. They were waiting for me to turn 18 before giving me a professional contract. Nonetheless, I eventually signed for them and I have no regrets.
Eventually, Mikel’s move to Chelsea paid off. He won the Champions League, two Premier League trophies, one Europa League, four FA Cups, and two League Cups. The 35-year-old retired from football in September 2022.