John Obi Mikel has admitted that he was ready to talk to clubs in January “if Chelsea fails to offer me a new deal”.
The Nigerian international has entered the final year of his contract and can begin negotiations over a Bosman move at the beginning of 2017.
He has so far struggled to get into Antonio Conte’s side after playing in the latter stages of the Olympics football tournament in Rio, where he helped his country win bronze, and he accepts that his time at Chelsea could be coming to an end.
“I have one year left [on my contract],” Mikel told Goal . “When you have a year left as a football player, you have to start planning and start thinking about what’s going to happen at the end of the season. Yes, there are going to be rumours, yes, there are going to be conversations between clubs.
“When you have a year left, in January, you are allowed to talk to other clubs and sign a pre-contract or have an agreement so, yes, I will talk to other clubs because you never know what is going to happen.”
“I’ve been here for a long, long time. I’ve spent 11 years of my life in this football club, it is my home.
“This season is the last at the club if my contract ends. I am quite relaxed about it, the future looks good.”
Mikel is Chelsea’s second longest serving player after John Terry and has won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League in his 11-year career at Stamford Bridge.
Although he is open to new offers come January, he is still