'Roman Abramovich's 'Russian mafia moves' led me joining Chelsea over Man Utd'

Table of Contents
'Roman Abramovich's 'Russian mafia moves' led me joining Chelsea over Man Utd'
Photo: Getty Images

John Obi Mikel has opened up about how Roman Abramovich's shady tactics helped sealed his highly controversial move to Chelsea.

Mikel's transfer from Lyn to England in 2006 was a dramatic one, involving both Chelsea and Manchester United.

United believed they had secured the midfielder's signature after negotiations and even held a press conference presenting him in their kit.

However, things took a dramatic turn with Chelsea claiming they already had a pre-contract agreement with Mikel and his representatives.

A transfer tug-of-war ensued, with FIFA eventually getting involved.

Eventually, Mikel signed for Chelsea, with the Blues agreeing to pay United a fee of £12 million, and Lyn a fee of £4 million.

And according to the Nigerian, it was the shady antics of former Chelsea owner Abramovich helped get the deal done.

Speaking at Web Summit Qatar recently, the 36-year-old said:

Everyone knows I signed a pre-contract at Man United, but I wasn't 18 so it wasn't technically legal.

Then Chelsea came in and said "listen, come to Chelsea."

Mikel was being ordered by FIFA not to speak with either United or Chelsea whilst the situation was being sorted out, but that didn't stop Abramovich from organising a sneaky work-around.

Roman did his Russian mafia moves [laughs].

What Roman and the club used to do is pick me up from a spot in London, drop me off at the train station, a different car then comes and picks me up, drops me off somewhere else, then another car comes and picks me up.

It was definitely Russian moves! But at the end of the day we got it done, so everyone was happy.

Despite the messy transfer, Mikel went on to have a successful 11-year career at Chelsea, winning numerous trophies including the Champions League and Premier League titles.

For any enquiries, please contact us here.

Post a Comment