Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

John Obi Mikel says Sir Alex Ferguson finally forgave him 18 years after he refused Manchester United to join Chelsea

Almost two decades later, John Obi Mikel has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson forgave him for his move to Chelsea.

Mikel originally signed for Manchester United in 2005 and was even seen wearing the club’s shirt at a press conference before the Blues took action.

Mikel signed for United on a pre-contract but later moved to Chelsea


Mikel signed for United on a pre-contract but later moved to ChelseaCredit: AFP

Chelsea sent him to Norwegian club Lyn as they considered a future deal and were quick to act when their Premier League rivals announced the move.

Mikel previously told talkSPORT he revealed to Ferguson he had no intention of signing for United during a “fiery” meeting.

But 18 years later the pair met again at Wembley for the Champions League final and the former midfielder revealed all was forgiven.

Speaking to Jason Cundy and Andy Townsend on Breakfast, he said: “It feels so good that the boss finally forgives me after so long.

“He talked about it (the saga) several times (during his career), it was like, ‘You’re the one who got away, aren’t you?’ But he’s a lovely, lovely man and at 82, he’s still going strong.

“I said to him: ‘We want you to be here as much as possible, as long as possible.’ And he said to me: ‘Look, you got away but you had an incredible career with Chelsea, so I wouldn’t say anything bad about it, but I definitely forgive you now.'”

Mikel then added insight into one of football’s most dramatic transfer sagas: “Well, I can’t tell you the whole story because we’re going to be here all week!

“I signed for the club, obviously United came with the contract, I think Sir Alex sent a scout to come and help me with the contract, like a pre-contract.

Mikel went on to play for Chelsea during a hugely successful stay


Mikel went on to play for Chelsea during a hugely successful stayCredit: Getty
Mikel and Ferguson met at Wembley 18 years after the saga ended


Mikel and Ferguson met at Wembley 18 years after the saga endedCredit: @obionepodcast
Mikel added further insight into how he eventually joined Chelsea


Mikel added further insight into how he eventually joined ChelseaCredit: talkSPORT

“I wasn’t 18 at the time, so I wasn’t allowed to sign a professional contract, so I signed a pre-contract with United. Then obviously Chelsea sent me to Norway for study, then play and train with one of the professional teams there.

“Then when they saw the whole news on TV, they were like, ‘Oh, what’s going on here? Well, Mikel has signed a pre-contract for United.’ Of course, they had to send the agents, everyone, to Oslo to find out what happened.

Former Manchester United manager Mike Phelan recalls fear of being sacked by Sir Alex Ferguson following infamous ‘ball incident’.

“They came down and that’s when I was taken from the club. I was sort of taken somewhere hidden for a few hours and no one knew where I was. Then finally, I I was flown to London from Chelsea and locked up somewhere, so that lasted about a year, trying to sort it out.”

He added: “I also missed a year of football because it wasn’t resolved for a year, it dragged on for a year, it wasn’t resolved. So I missed a year of football, so it was really, really hard for my family, everyone was so worried.

“I missed playing, doing what I do, which is playing football, for a year I was away. I couldn’t play for anyone, FIFA was like, ‘No, you’re not can play for no one.”

“So I was away for a year, I couldn’t train with any clubs, they couldn’t see me talking to any clubs because otherwise I’d get in trouble. So it was all crazy but in the end it was was settled.

Mikel won 11 trophies at Chelsea


Mikel won 11 trophies at ChelseaCredit: Getty

“18 years later I saw the boss again and we talked about it, joked about it, and it was funny because he was there with David Gill (former CEO), who of course did the transfers for United.

“He said to me, ‘That transfer made me have gray hair,’ so yeah, it was funny. We talked about it and laughed about it, it was good.”

Mikel went on to make 372 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions, scoring six goals from midfield.

He won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League during his brilliant spell.


Back to top button