Palace Trailing In Bid For Nigerian Ace

Palace Trailing In Bid For Nigerian Ace

Middlesbrough have reportedly stolen a march over Crystal Palace in the race to sign Nigeria international midfielder John Obi Mikel.

The 31-year-old former Chelsea man is looking for a return to English football after recently departing Chinese side Tianjin Teda by mutual consent.

Mikel had talks with Championship promotion hopefuls Boro last week and it was claimed that former Eagles boss Tony Pulis has decided against offering him a contract.

That resulted in speculation that Roy Hodgson would look to take the experienced campaigner to Selhurst Park in this transfer window.

But it now seems that Pulis is looking to offload up to four players this month and that will give him the finances to bring in Mikel, with the player thought to be back in the North-East for fresh negotiations.

Mikel would no doubt prefer to play in the Premier League given that he helped Chelsea win two league titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup, Champions League and Europa League in 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

But the guarantee of regular football in an advanced number 10 role at Boro looks like it could sway him to link up with Pulis at the Riverside Stadium.

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