Former Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United had a strong interest in him in the past.
Obi Mikel joined Chelsea in 2006, and didn’t leave the club until 2017.
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Speaking to The Athletic, the 34-year-old spoke about how he undertook two month-long trials at Manchester United, in which Roy Keane acted as his “bodyguard.”
It wasn’t all fun and games though, as Obi Mikel recalls how he was stuck in limbo between two of the most powerful football clubs in the world, where governing bodies and lawyers all argued their cases.
“Look, it was tough, it was difficult,” he says. “I missed a year of my career because of it.
“I couldn’t go to Chelsea, I couldn’t go to Manchester United. I had lots of different agents claiming to work for me. It was tough mentally.
“My family were all disturbed, concerned. I was just 18. I was a kid. I just wanted to play. It was in court and, well… it was a nightmare.
“There were nights I couldn’t sleep because I didn’t know what I was going to do the next morning.
“Where was I going to train? Who was I going to train with? I just wanted to play football, something I loved, and all of a sudden, I was not allowed to.”