Ex-Chelsea star fails to earn Middlesbrough deal as Tony Pulis 'does not want him'

Ex-Chelsea star John Obi Mikel has been denied a desired return to England after being snubbed by Middlesbrough.

Monday, 21st January 2019, 10:27 am
Updated Monday, 21st January 2019, 10:30 am
Ex-Chelsea star John Obi Mikel wants to return to England

The 31-year-old, who had been training with Boro, ended his 11-year stay with the Blues when he moved to Asia to join Chinese Super League club Tianjin TEDA in 2017.

In over a decade at Stamford Bridge, the midfielder lifted nine major honours, winning the Premier League twice as well as triumphs in the Champions League and Europa League.

However, Mikel's trophy-laden career was unable to earn him a deal on Teesside after a report from The Sun claimed Tony Pulis 'does not want him' after he trained with the club.

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Pulis has admitted he is keen to bolster his squad, who currently lie 5th in the Championship - six points off the automatic promotion places.

That said, the attacking areas are thought to be the ex-Stoke City manager's main priority, rather than a position which is already well stocked.

Indeed, Boro's central midfielder is one of their biggest areas - with seven recognised players in that position.

Adam Clayton, Jonny Howson, George Saville and Mo Besic have been regulars this season, while Lewis Wing has broken into the first-team picture in recent months.

Mikel, who is keen on a return to England, would arguably demand a decent wage packet, too, after spending a few years in what is the mega riches of Chinese Super League.