Chelsea: Stars rejects China move; Nainggolan reacts to speculation; players given break
Mikel John Obi has opted to turn down the opportunity to follow in Oscar’s footsteps with a move to China and is set to turn down a £100,000 per week pay rise at Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League, claim the London Evening Standard.
The Nigerian is yet to feature for the Blues under Antonio Conte and is expected to leave but reports suggest that he will instead choose to remain in Europe to play at the highest possible level for as long as possible.
Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan has reacted to speculation linking him with a move to Stamford Bridge as he revealed that there was contact before the club moved for N’Golo Kante, as he said:
“Was I close to moving to the Premier League? There was contact. But then I quickly decided to remain. He [Antonio Conte] already wanted me when he was the Juve manager, but I’d already said I would never leave Roma for Juve. Now he tries to get me to Chelsea. I know Chelsea are a big club, but I have to take several things into account. It’s not easy to leave Italy behind after 12 years. I won’t leave for a small difference.”
The Belgian has continued to be linked but now looks set to stay in Serie A despite Conte continuing to consider options to add in midfield.
His current squad have also been making the most of a treat from the Italian manager, who has granted many of his players time off with a nine day break between fixtures over the Christmas period, say the Daily Mail. With Diego Costa suspended for the Boxing Day fixture against Bournemouth, he has returned to Brazil for the festive season.
Thibaut Courtois jetted off to the United States, whilst Gary Cahill has gone abroad to celebrate his birthday and Nathaniel Chalobah has visited Paris. Others, including Willian, have remained in London.
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