John Obi Mikel the latest player to choose Chinese mega-bucks

The Chelsea midfielder is leaving the club after 374 appearances to join Tianjin TEDA

Midfielder John Obi Mikel has announced he is to leave Chelsea and join Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Midfielder John Obi Mikel has announced he is to leave Chelsea and join Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

 

Midfielder John Obi Mikel has announced he is to leave Chelsea and join Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA.

Mikel won 11 trophies with Chelsea during a spell at the club which consisted of 374 appearances.

“To play in the Premier League, the best league in the world, is every professional player’s ambition,” the 29-year-old added.

“But to play for Chelsea, to become part of the Chelsea family, to work with some of the best managers and players in the world, has truly been an honour.

“To everyone at Chelsea — goodbye, and thank you. You will always be part of who I am, and I wish you the best of luck.

“I could not be happier to be saying goodbye with the club back where it belongs — top of the league.”

Mikel is the latest high-profile acquisition for the Chinese Super League, following in the footsteps of Carlos Tevez, Graziano Pelle, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Jackson Martinez, Hulk and former Chelsea team-mate Oscar, who cost around £52million.

Former Manchester United and Manchester City striker Tevez is reportedly set to earn £615,000-a-week at Shanghai Shenhua, making him the highest paid player in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent also claimed last month that Real Madrid were offered €300million for the Portugal skipper by an unnamed Chinese Super League club, but said his client had no interest in the deal.

However, with China now becoming a more popular destination for top players, the Chinese government is reportedly attempting to impose restrictions on the big spending.

In quotes run in several national newspapers, a government spokesman accused clubs of “burning money” on new players and said it “would regulate and restrain high-priced signings, and impose reasonable restrictions on players’ high incomes.”

Clubs, whose overseas quota was reduced from five to four players last month, have also been warned they could face sanctions for excessive spending and should back youth development.

“We must take building 100-year clubs as the goal,” the spokesman added. “We will remove the seriously insolvent clubs from the professional league.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.