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Obi Mikel: Man Utd Tried To Wreck My Career

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Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has reopened his row with Manchester United - claiming the Reds tried to wreck his career.

United eventually sold Mikel to Chelsea after a drawn-out row over his original transfer from Lyn and the Nigeria midfielder told the News of the World: "All United were after was money. I didn't see why they wanted to wreck my career.

"The thing is, I didn't know the reason why United had to drag the whole thing out. It didn't make any sense.

"FIFA didn't let me train with either team so I was training alone in my neighbourhood.

"But Chelsea fought for me and when people do things like that, it's difficult to abandon them. "That's why I'll be at Chelsea for a very long time."

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John Obi Mikel was crying the day he joined Chelsea and really wanted to join Manchester United, it has been claimed in an explosive court case in Norway.

Mikel was at the centre of a three-way tug of war in 2006, with Manchester United, Chelsea and tiny Norwegian club Lyn all insisting he was their player.

In a murky case involving agents, reports of death threats and even accusations of kidnapping, the Nigerian midfielder's future seemed certain to be decided by Fifa until the three clubs thrashed out a deal eventually.

United claimed they signed Mikel from Lyn in April 2005 - when pictures appeared in the press of him holding up his No 21 shirt - and then loaned him back until the end of the Norwegian season.

But Chelsea, who reportedly helped pay for the Nigeria-born midfielder's education in Norway, insisted they had their own separate agreement with the player's agent.

Now all the bad feeling has resurfaced, with Lyn director Morgan Andersen facing charges of forging a contract that indicated Lyn did have the rights to Mikel when the player was sold.

He has pleaded 'not guilty' and has given graphic details of a meeting with the midfielder's agent, John Shittu. He said: "It was like meeting the Sopranos. In the meeting they behaved in a threatening way. We claimed that we had the rights to Mikel, but Shittu said we would regret the deal.

"We told them that we had the right to Mikel, but Chelsea's representatives didn't agree. Soon after, John Shittu took him to the airport in Oslo. They went to London. Mikel was crying and we didn't see him for a long time after that."

In London, Mikel signed for Chelsea and was interviewed on Sky, claiming he had previously been forced into signing for Manchester United and really wanted to play at Stamford Bridge.

It's a version of events that Andersen denies. In court, he said: "A number of clubs wanted to sign Mikel and I showed all the faxes to him. He didn't want to see them, because his mind was set on Manchester United. He was very happy when the deal was done and he wanted to go to United.

"Alex Ferguson said to me that Mikel would be the new Roy Keane and he was offered a contract that was even better than the one they gave Cristiano Ronaldo when he came to the club."

Andersen described Lyn's relationship with Chelsea as "like being at war". Andersen continued to tell Chelsea his club had rights to the player but the Norwegian Football Federation did not agree and decided the contract with Mikel was not valid.

Eventually Andersen handed over the paperwork but police in Norway believe Mikel's signature was false and pressed charges.

Mikel's future was resolved in June 2006 when Chelsea agreed to pay United £12 million for him, and a further £4 million to Lyn.

Mikel has since gone on to become a key player for Chelsea, helping them to win the FA Cup and Carling Cup last season.

The court case continues.


Edited by the wes
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We'll never find out what really happened but lets be honest, there are no innocent parties here. Utd knew we'd invested heavily in Mikel and still tried to steal him from under our nose. We, in turn, upped our original bid, knowing full well he'd got a contact with Utd by this time. Mikel, well he simply allowed himself to be sold to the highest bidder - and who knows which version of his story is actually true? As for the agent - well ok, got him a decent deal but essentially, whoring Mikel to the highest punter lost him a year of his footballing career and gained him a minor hate campaign and a rather large chip on his shoulder.

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