Mikel rules out Chelsea exit


John Obi Mikel says he has no intention of leaving Chelsea any time soon, despite increased competition for a starting berth.

The Nigeria international faces a battle to secure a place in Antonio Conte's starting XI following the arrival of N'Golo Kante from Leicester City, but he is determined to fight for his place.

"I am definitely staying at Chelsea and I will try to give my best to the club, like I have always done," Mikel told the London Evening Standard.

"I want to help the team fight for every point, every win and to win trophies. I also want to help the team qualify for the Champions League again as soon as possible.

"For 10 years I have been going to the same training ground, the same locker room. It is an amazing club, with an amazing owner. They are like a family to me. It is a place that has become a part of me."

The 29-year-old's contract with Chelsea is due to expire at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, but he hopes to do enough in the upcoming season to earn a renewal.

"I have a year left and then we will see what happens. If I play well this season, it will help me earn a new contract," Mikel added. 

"I will give 120 per cent every time I'm on the pitch or come off the bench. I will always give my best.

"If Chelsea decide they want to talk, then we will talk. If I have to move on, I'm sure there will be plenty of clubs out there where I can continue my football career.

"It will be difficult to leave but these things happen. You have to move on one day. My happy memories of Chelsea will never go away."