Former Nigeria midfielder, John Mikel Obi, has claimed he signed for Chelsea in 2006, because the futures of three of his compatriots were tied to the transfer.
Mikel Obi joined the Blues from Norwegian club Lyn Oslo and spent 11 trophy-laden years at Stamford Bridge.
However, it the move was not as smooth as expected, as he had initially signed for Manchester United. Mikel Obi then alleged he was forced to put pen to paper for the Red Devils.
At the end, the player eventually signed for Chelsea, who paid a compensation fee of £12m to Manchester United and £4m to Lyn.
During that period, three of Mikel Obi’s teammates at U-20 level, Chinedu Obasi, Emmanuel Sarki and Ezekiel Bala, were also undergoing trials at Stamford Bridge.
Mikel Obi told The Athletic: “When I chose Chelsea, it wasn’t just my life that changed.
“There were four lives that changed. Why? Because if I didn’t, Chelsea might not have anything to do with my three friends. I was close to them. I knew their families.
“I didn’t just make the decision for myself. I thought about them, I thought about their families. This gave them more of a chance.”