Date: 15th August 2013 at 2:14pm
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Mikel-and-Benitez

Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is planning on signing Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel for the Serie A club before the summer transfer window slams shut.

Reports in Italy indicate that the former interim boss at Stamford Bridge is desperate to add another midfielder to his squad, especially a defensive one, and Napoli are ready to submit a £5 million offer to land the Nigeria international.

Mikel was also linked with a move to Galatasaray earlier in the summer and someone even went out of their way to make up quotes suggesting it could happen whilst he was on international duty with the Super Eagles at the Confederations Cup. The move didn’t materialise and Jose Mourinho doesn’t seem to have any immediate plans to sell any of his players as things stand.

Whilst it’s true that Napoli could perhaps offer first-team football to the 26-year-old and will play Champions League football next season, Mikel hasn’t been put off by having to win his place in the Blues starting line-up in all the years he has spent at the club so far and he’ll be looking forward to working with Mourinho once again.

Mikel is on a long-term contract with the club and has won almost everything possible during his time in West London, so £5 million is nothing short of an insult and I don’t see Benitez going after a man that he left on the bench for most of the time last season.

The midfielder had a poor campaign last year, particularly over the last six months, but he’s the only defensive midfielder in Mourinho’s squad and he’s a very useful player when paired with the right midfielder. For example, neither him or Frank Lampard are especially mobile and are not a good combination but when he’s played alongside Ramires he’s helped pin teams back in their own half, like he did at Old Trafford in the FA Cup last season.

He gets a lot of stick but he does have the quality, his passing and defensive stats generally make for good reading, and the best example of what he’s capable of was demonstrated in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 2012. I don’t see him going anywhere, least of all for a measly £5 million.

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Source: Metro