John Obi Mikel was close to joining Manchester United and was even pictured in their jersey before completing a move to Chelsea. His former boss, Jose Mourinho has explained why.
Fresh off his performance for Nigeria at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Holland in 2005, Mikel was at Lyn Oslo in the Norwegian league when the two big clubs in England came calling.
The Blues won the battle for his signature, and he went on to have a successful career at Stamford Bridge, winning 11 trophies in 11 years at the club.
Mourinho explains how Mikel joined Chelsea
Mourinho teamed up with his former player on the Obi One Podcast, providing an unknown angle to a famous story among the fans.
“The first time I saw him was quite fun; he was hiding in training, and one day, I asked for a young player to make training work well. I was told about a Nigerian guy hidden in Norway,” he said.
“The first question I asked was, ‘He’s 17; is he physically strong enough?’ and they said ‘yes’. I asked for him to come. I was expecting a normal player, but I saw immediately that he was not normal.”