The 28-year-old has been linked with a move away from Chelsea FC this summer after falling down the pecking order over the past couple of seasons at Stamford Bridge, but is reportedly set to stay at the club despite foreign interest this summer

The inexorable debate about the usefulness – or lack thereof – of defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel is set to continue amongst Chelsea FC fans for another season after reports emerged indicating that the Nigerian is still seen as a part of Jos Mourinho’s plans.

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Mikel, who has made 339 appearances for Chelsea FC over nine seasons, has seen his role in the side diminish over the past couple of seasons – particularly with the return of Nemanja Mati from Benfica in January 2014 – and is reportedly open to a move away from the English capital in search of first team football.

The Nigerian international has been linked with a move to Turkish SA?per Lig club Fenerbah e in the past week, but club president Aziz Y ld r m recently admitted a deal was unlikely.

Y ld r m is quoted by Turkish-tootball.com in a press conference as saying: “We made an enquiry for Mikel, the deal would have cost a total of a 35 million. a 15 million transfer fee to Chelsea and a 5 million per-season on a four-year deal for the Nigerian international.”

In further confirmation that Mikel is likely to stay put at Chelsea FC, according to BBC Sport, a source close to the midfielder has revealed that the 28-year-old will not be leaving the club this transfer window. “There’s absolutely no truth to reports linking Mikel with a move to Turkey or any Chinese club for that matter,” the source is quoted as saying.

“Only two clubs from the UAE showed strong interest last month but they could not meet his club’s valuation. Mikel has a contract with Chelsea until 2017, as things stand he will not be leaving the club this transfer window as speculated.”

The two UAE clubs are understood to be Al Ain and Al Wahda, with the former wrapping up the loan signing of Mikel’s compatriot Emmanuel Emenike earlier this week.

Unless a club is ready to meet the valuation Chelsea FC have seemingly decided upon, and until Mourinho has a suitable replacement lined up, it appears unlikely that Mikel will be allowed to leave the club.

The Nigerian looks set to begin his 10th season at Stamford Bridge, and is expected to be part of the Blues squad that flies out to their pre-season training base in Montreal, Canada, later this week.