Brazilian Serie A side, Botafogo, are hoping to clinch the signing of former Nigeria captain, John Obi Mikel, reports allnigeriasoccer.com.
Globo Esporte says the Rio de Janeiro club have turned their attention to Mikel after failing to agree on a deal with Manchester City legend, Yaya Toure.
Mikel is free to join a new club after terminating his contract with Turkish Super Lig club, Trabzonspor, last month.Advertisement
The Chelsea icon was pleased with the approach from Botafogo but talks have slowed down in recent days because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 32-year-old was an important player at Trabzonspor, making 19 league appearances and helping them to the top of the standings before the Super Lig was postponed by the Turkish Federation.
One of the traditional clubs in world football, Botafogo is now regarded as a sleeping giant with their last national title won in 1995.
Apart from being a former Chelsea star, Mikel is well known to Brazilian fans, having represented the country at the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup held in the South American country. Advertisement
Recently, former Nigeria striker and coach Daniel Amokachi named Mikel as the greatest Nigerian player ever.
Mikel enjoyed a successful international career with the Super Eagles before his retirement last July.
He played at two Fifa World Cup tournaments in 2014 and 2018, won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa and later guided the national team to a third-place finish at Afcon 2019 in Egypt.
The former Chelsea and Middlesbrough midfielder added more laurels to his trophy cabinet at club level, winning the Uefa Champions League and Europa League winners’ medals amongst other domestic titles during his stint at Stamford Bridge.Advertisementu
Mikel started his Nigeria career at the 2003 Fifa U-17 World Cup before playing at the 2005 World Youth Championship where he was named the tournament’s second-best player behind Lionel Messi.
According to goal.com, Amokachi believes the feats Mikel has achieved in his 16-year football career distinguishes him from every other Nigerian player.
“Mikel is the greatest player,” Amokachi told Brila FM.
“He has won everything that a player can hope to; the Champions League, Europa, Afcon in 2013 and he also captained the national team.
“As a footballer, your laurels count and that will surely count for Mikel because nobody has won that much in Nigerian football.”