Middlesbrough are actively looking to add to their ranks this January transfer window. But the Teesiders have recently turned down the opportunity to sign former-Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, according to The Sun (via The Evening Gazette).
The two-time Premier League winner currently plies his trade in the Chinese Super League with Tianjin TEDA. But he has been offered another chance in England with Middlesbrough. However, according to reports the Teessiders have turned down the opportunity, instead turning their attention to other targets.
Mikel reportedly wants to return to England where he had the most successful spell of his career, winning the Premier League trophy both in 2009/10 and 2014/15 under Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho respectively. The Nigerian international also won the UEFA Champions League and Europa League in his 11 years at Stamford Bridge.
His time in China has been mixed, with Tianjin TEDA finishing two places outside the relegation zone, and one place above the relegation zone in his two seasons at the club. He is now actively looking for a move away, and spoke with Boro boss Tony Pulis regarding a possible move to The Riverside.
Mikel would be competing with a plethora of midfielders at the club if he was to sign. The likes of Adam Clayton, Jonny Howson, George Saville, Lewis Wing and Mo Besic have all featured heavily this season, not to mention the emergence of Marcus Tavernier and stalwarts Grant Leadbitter and Stewart Downing.
Given the experience of the former-Nigeria captain, there will undoubtedly be plenty of clubs willing to give Mikel another shot at playing in England, whether it is the Championship or in the Premier League however, remains to be seen.