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Mikel close to Middlesbrough deal

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Former Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel has agreed personal terms with Middlesbrough and also had a medical yesterday with a view to joining the English Championship side, according to reports from England.

The Super Eagles’ captain held talks with Boro manager, Tony Pulis at the Middlesbrough training ground last week and is now close to signing a short-term deal with the Championship club.

Mikel, who has been playing for Chinese side, Tianjin TEDA, is keen to return to the United Kingdom, where his wife and children have stayed after his move abroad.

There is some fine-tuning to do before the move can be rubber-stamped, but Boro are hopeful it can be concluded quickly.

The midfielder, 31, is a free agent after leaving Chinese side Tianjin Teda by mutual consent earlier this month.

Mikel led Nigeria at the World Cup in Russia last summer. He is keen to return to England and has also been courted by top flight Crystal Palace and a couple of other Championship clubs.

Mikel spent 11 years at Chelsea, most notably winning one Champions League title, two Premier League titles, the Europa League, three FA Cups and the League Cup.

Tony Pulis remains determined to add another attacker to his squad after landing Huddersfield winger, Rajiv van La Parra on loan earlier this month.

Stewart Downing remains in a peculiar situation at the club due to a clause in his contract that will see him get a one-year extension if he starts another game.

The club, which is fifth on the Championship table, wants to return to the Premiership either automatically or through the play-off hence Pulis’ desire to fortify the squad.


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