Stoke City coach Michael O’Neill has said former Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel shunned lucrative offers to sign for the English Championship side.

Mike was linked to moves to Italy with Serie A newcomers Benevento and Brazilian sides Botafogo and Sports Club Internacional, but he chose to remain in England where his wife and kids are well settled. Mikel quit Turkish Trabzonspor where he was on €125,000 every month.

O’Neill stated: “John Obi Mikel had many opportunities around the globe about where he could have gone and played which, I assure you, were a lot more lucrative than what he signed here at Stoke.”

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Mikel was in action as Stoke beat Newcastle 1-0 yesterday in a pre-season friendly at St James’ Park. It was the third pre-season match that Mikel has been included in the starting XI, having also started against Shrewsbury Town and Leeds United.

But Stoke has no place for Oghenkaro Etebo it seems. He has not been involved the club’s pre-season games giving currency to speculations that he would be offloaded by Stoke this season.


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