Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has admitted that he is ready to leave the club in January or at the end of the season when his contract ends.
Mikel has been with Chelsea since 2006 and he has been part of the club’s success since Roman Abramovich bought the club.
The Nigerian international has won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.
However he hasn’t made a single appearance so far this season under new manager Antonio Conte and he has been linked with a move away.
Mikel told BBC Sport that he would accept his career ending in January or at the end of the season but there wasn’t really the option to leave last summer.
“I think I’ve been part of the best years of this club. We had never won the Champions League but I was there, I was man of the match in that final. I have written my name in the history books of this club and I’ve won loads and loads trophies, close to 400 games for this club and I have no regrets.
“As a player you’re still hungry and you want more but if that’s the way it’ll end then that’s the way it’ll end. In life players move on but like I’ve said I’m very relaxed about the January window. I’ll speak to the club and we’ll find the best solution.
“Because I went to the Olympics there was no communication over my situation and then the window ended and the club didn’t tell me to leave and I have one year left so I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave this club just like that. I’ve been here 11 years now and it’s good to end when your contract ends and your business is done.”
Mikel’s choice to play in the Olympics has been decried by many as the reason that he hasn’t been playing but Mikel was keen to stress that this wasn’t the case and he had no regrets over going to play.
“One thing in football is that I have never been a guy who would make excuses. In life I never make excuses. I never shy away from my responsibilities. Yes maybe people will look at it that way and say ‘Yes, because he went to the Olympics, he didn’t have a pre-season with the team. There’s a new manager coming in, probably was upset I left, probably thinks I don’t care about the team.’ Things like that. I don’t want to make excuses.
“At the end of the day I have to keep training hard and make sure I try to change the manager’s mind but at the end of the day if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen. Like I’ve said I’ll keep doing my best and ensure that I’m ready if I’m called upon and then we’ll see what happens in January. So I have to keep being professional as I’ve been, training every day and working every day. I train with the team and I keep doing what I’m doing to get my chance.”
He added that he wouldn’t trade his bronze medal for aplace in the Chelsea team.
“Nah, nah, nah. I think one thing you have to do in life as a man is make a decision and if you make a sacrifice you have to stand by it and live with it. I have no regrets at all, not one single regret. I deserve it, I worked so hard for it so why would I trade it?