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Mikel leaves Chelsea for China

John Obi Mikel is to leave Chelsea to join Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA.

Mikel won two Premier League titles, the Champions League and four FA Cups in his ten years at Stamford Bridge but he has not featured for the club since May.

Having failed to play a minute under Antonio Conte, and with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, the 29-year-old has opted to leave Stamford Bridge, joining his former team-mate Oscar in the Chinese Super League.

"After ten years, 374 appearances and 11 trophies, it is time for me to say goodbye," Mikel wrote in an open letter to Chelsea fans.

"To play in the Premier League, the best league in the world, is every professional player’s ambition. But to play for Chelsea, to become part of the Chelsea family, to work with some of the best managers and players in the world, has truly been an honour.

"As you will know, I haven’t featured as much this season as I would have liked, and at 29 I still have many years in the game ahead of me," Mikel said in a statement.

"With this in mind, I feel now is the time to seek a new challenge.

"I’m delighted to be joining Tianjin TEDA FC in China, at a time that the Chinese Super League is really taking off, and I look forward to helping Tianjin TEDA FC continue to grow both on and off the pitch in the next few years.

"To everyone at Chelsea - goodbye and thank you. You will always be part of who I am, and I wish you the best of luck. I could not be happier to be saying goodbye with the club back where it belongs - top of the League!"


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