WEST Ham have become the latest English Premier League clubside to express an interest in former Super Eagles skipper Mikel Obi as the race to secure his services ahead of the forthcoming 2020/21 season intensifies.
Over the weekend, Championship side West Bromwich Albion (WBA) joined the list of clubs looking to sign Mikel Obi on a free transfer ahead of next season as the club pursues promotion to the Premier League. Currently sitting in second place in the league table behind leaders Leeds United, WBA are relatively confident of gaining promotion to the English Premier League at the end of the season.
Mikel, 33, is currently a free agent after parting company with Turkish club Trabzonspor in March following a dispute over the coronavirus pandemic. In 2006, Mikel joined Chelsea where he played for 11 years before moving to China with Tianjin Teda in 2017 and after two years in China, he returned to England on a short-term deal with Middlesboro, before joining Trabzonspor on a free transfer in July 2019.
With just five matches to go until the end of the current season which was disrupted die to the coronavirus pandemic, clubs are already focusing on the next campaign. West Ham are currently involved in a relegation dogfight, sitting in 16th pace in the 20-team table so know they have to beef up their team next season.
Already, the east London team have opened talks with the former Super Eagles captain and if a deal can be reached, he will come to London for a medical. It is believed, however, that the whole deal is predicated on whether West Ham can survive the drop or not.
One source said: “There is contact with the Hammers and talks are underway about next season. Ultimately, Mikel’s final decision will depend on whether the team in question is in the Premier League next season.”
After quitting Trabzonspor, Mikel had been strongly linked with Brazilian sides Botafogo and Internacional. One report also linked him with Mexican club, Monterrey, which, however, did not materialise.