John Obi Mikel rejected briefcase full of cash from unnamed club prior to joining Chelsea
Posted: 11 November 2017 Time: 11:45
John Obi Mikel has revealed he once rejected a briefcase full of cash after an unnamed club attempted to sign him prior to his arrival in England.
The Nigerian midfielder was signed by Chelsea in 2006 and went on to enjoy a highly-successful nine-year stay in west London, where he won two Premier League titles and four FA Cups, as well as lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy.
However, the 30-year-old - who currently plies his trade at Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA FC - has revealed he was previously approached by an anonymous agent who had offered him a briefcase filled with $70,000 to sign for his club.
"I had agents promising me everything," Mikel, who had actually signed a pre-deal with Manchester United before eventually joining Chelsea, told The Sun.
"One approached me in the hotel with a briefcase full of cash.
"I can't remember what club he claimed to represent - but I do remember the briefcase. It was crammed with $70,000 and he offered me that to sign some contract before adding: 'Sign here and you'll get a lot more'.
"I was tempted. I'd never seen so much money but I told the Nigerian FA secretary who was looking after me.
"He told me to ignore this agent but promised I would join the best club. After the tournament, I went home to my family and then saw the secretary again in Abuja.
"That's when he told me: 'You're going to United. They want you and you're leaving tomorrow'. My dad was so happy but mum was crying because I was moving abroad at such a young age."