Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is closing in on a move away from Stamford Bridge.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, who bought Marseille in October, had promised to invest heavily in the January transfer window to help manager Rudi Garcia build a team that could be European champions.

Les Phoceens were ready to rescue Mikel from his Chelsea nightmare in the summer but the player’s reported £3.4m-a-year salary reportedly aborted the move.

Nigerian manager Gernot Rohr has confirmed that the Chelsea midfielder is in advanced negotiations with French club Marseille and a January transfer is very much on the cards. He also confirmed that Chelsea are ready to let him leave on a free transfer.

I saw him in London. He is in advanced discussions with Marseille. Marseille is a serious option for him,” the German told Europe 1

Chinese moneybags Shanghai SIPG reportedly offered   Mikel £170,000 per week to move to Asia but Europe 1 believes the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner will move to Stade Velodrome next month as he will be a key player at Marseille.

Garcia said he will only sign top players in January and believes Mikel will bring a wealth of experience playing at the top level to help the side. Marseille are ready to significantly improve on Mikel’s reported €350,000-a-month salary at Chelsea to lure him to France.

In other news, Antonio Conte has more or less confirmed that Chelsea are working on new signings in January.

When asked about his transfer plans, Conte said:

We must be very pleased for the achievement we have reached now, but it is logical that I look with my club for a solution to arrive in a good position at the end of the season. I don’t know what will happen in January but in this situation it is important to talk with my club – we have a fantastic relationship – but I have my idea and I prefer to discuss this with the club.





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