Nigerian midfielder Mikel John Obi will reject a £100 000-a-week pay rise in China and join a European club in January 2017, according to the London Evening Standard.
Mikel, who has yet to play competitively for Chelsea this season, is considering rejecting a huge pay day in the Chinese Super League to join a club in Europe.
The Super Eagles captain had received an offer from Shanghai SIPG, the club who are set to buy his Chelsea team-mate Oscar for £60 million.
The Nigeria international could earn up to £170 000 a week — £100 000 a week more than his current wages — if he moved to China.
With coach Antonio Conte freezing him out of the first team, Mikel is likely to leave next month rather than when his contract expires in the summer.
But it is understood that Mikel is thinking about staying in Europe to play in a competitive league and add to his medal collection, rather than boost his earnings in a weaker competition.
Marseille have been interested in the defensive midfielder for months and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is believed to have offered him a contract, which is likely to be worth less than he gets at Stamford Bridge.
While the French league is not rated as highly as England’s top-flight, it is still a respected competition and offers Champions League football.
Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr confirmed at the weekend that Mikel is in negotiations with the French club.
Marseille, who last won the French title in 2009-10, are sixth on the table