Super Eagles skipper Mikel John Obi today completed his move from Chelsea to Tianjin TEDA and admitted he had to leave Stamford Bridge for a new challenge.
Football Sierra Leone understands that the Nigeria international has signed a three-year contract with Tianjin in the Chinese Super League.
The 29-year-old deal we understand worth around £140,000-a-week. He had just five months left on his current deal with the present Premier League leaders and was pursued by a number of clubs, including Valencia, Marseille, and Inter Milan, but found Tianjin’s offer too good to turn down.
In a statement today, he wrote: “I haven’t featured as much this season as I would have liked and at 29 I still have many years in the game ahead of me.
“With this in mind, I feel now is the time to seek a new challenge. I’m delighted to be joining Tianjin TEDA at a time that the Chinese Super League is really taking off.
“I look forward to helping Tianjin continue to grow both on and off the pitch in the next few years
“To everyone at Chelsea, goodbye and thank you. You will always be a 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 won 10 major honours after joining from Lyn Oslo in 2006, including the Premier League twice, the Champions League and Europa League.