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Marseille Eyes Mikel, Could Make Him Highest-paid Player In Club

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BEVERLY HILLS, December 19, (THEWILL) – French Ligue 1 side Olympic Marseille are keen in convincing out-of-favour Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, to shun a big-money move to the Chinese Super League by making him its highest paid player.

Frank McCourt, former Los Angeles Dodgers owner who bought Marseille in October, had promised to invest heavily in the January transfer window to help manager Rudi Garcia build a team that could compete favourably in Europe.

Garcia has insisted that he will only sign top players in January and believes Mikel will bring a wealth of experience playing at the top level to help the side.

The club tried to rescue Mikel, captain of the Super Eagles, from his Chelsea nightmare in the summer but failed due to his £3.4m-a-year salary.

With McCourt ready to spend in January – and Mikel yet to play a single game for Chelsea since the beginning of the season – reports in France on Sunday claimed Marseille were ready to sign the 29-year-old.

Marseille are ready to significantly improve on Mikel's reported €350,000-a-month salary at Chelsea to lure him to France.

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr also confirmed Mikel, whose contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season, was in talks with Marseille.

“I saw him in London. He is in advanced discussions with OM. Marseille is a serious option for him,” the German told Europe 1.

Story by Oputah David