John Mikel Obi, a former midfielder for Chelsea, disclosed that the reason he left the English Premier League team was due to the previous manager, Antonio Conte.
He claimed that shortly after Conte assumed the position of club manager, the Italian tactician informed him and his fellow countryman Victor Moses that they would no longer be considered members of his team if they accepted the invitation to play for Nigeria at the Olympics.
Mikel stated that he persuaded Moses to stay behind as he travelled to the Olympics with Nigeria during their conversation on the most recent episode of the Vibe with Five podcast.
Regretfully, Conte sent him to the reserve team after his return. He claimed that event was what made him decide to leave Chelsea in 2017.
“Conte was the reason I left [Chelsea],” Mikel declared. He said to him, “You’re not playing anymore,” as soon as he entered. I then departed. It goes without saying that I thought, “My time here is done,” as soon as I saw Conte enter the club.
“The sole explanation is that Victor Moses and I received an invitation to join the Nigerian national team for the Olympics when he arrived.” I spoke with the club, and Conte informed me that he would no longer be playing for them if I left. As I’m a new manager, the club needs to be considered.
“And I thought, ‘What the heck? I’ve received an invitation to compete for my nation in the Olympics. “Yeah, but if you go just know that your time here is done,” he said.
I told Victor to stay back after that. “I’ve been here a long time,” I remarked. I’ve achieved all the necessary victories. You ought to stay since you’re only now arriving. And he gave in. Victor stayed behind, and I left. That was it when I returned from the competition. I never heard from Conte. I was sent to the reserve team by him. It was reserve training for me. After that, I spent some time training by myself. I worked on this for around six months.
After leaving Chelsea, the 36-year-old international player for Nigeria joined Tianjin TEDA in China.