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Media Watch: John Mikel Obi open to England return, Drogba’s presidential bid gets green light, Chelsea one of several clubs linked with young Portuguese winger

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, John Mikel Obi says he is keeping his options open as he considers his future as a free agent and Didier Drogba has been confirmed as a candidate for the Ivory Coast football federation presidency.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Mikel could return to English football

Former Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has told the BBC there is a strong possibility he could return to English football next season as he considers his future as a player.

The 33-year-old, who won the Champions League and two Premier League titles during his time with the Blues, is currently without a club after leaving Turkish side Trabzonspor by mutual consent in March.

However, he is not ready to retire just yet and said he has received some offers from English clubs.

‘Yes, there are interested clubs and England is a strong possibility and why not,’ said the Nigerian to BBC Sport Africa.

‘We are currently in talks with clubs and there is absolutely no hurry. I can only wait to see what happens.’

Recent media reports have linked Mikel with newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion and Championship side Stoke City but he refused to refused to confirm or deny the stories.

After leaving Stamford Bridge in 2017 following an 11-year spell with the Blues, he played for Chinese side Tianjin TEDA and Middlesbrough before joining Tranzonspor last summer.


Drogba will contest election

According to Goal.com, Didier Drogba has been given the green light to contest at the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) elections next month 5 after his candidacy was approved by the electoral committee of the federation.

While the Chelsea legend is hugely popular in his home country, there were doubts about his candidacy after he failed to get the endorsement of the Ivory Coast Footballers’ Association.

However, he has met the requirements to be a candidate after he received endorsements from three Ivorian Ligue 1 clubs, two Ligue 2 clubs, two Championnat Division 3 clubs and an interest group.

Retired goalkeeper Copa Barry, a former Ivory Coast team-mate of Drogba’s confirmed the news on his Facebook page.

‘When I woke up, I read this message: “Hello bro! We are officially validated for the application to the FIF”. Signed Didier Drogba,’ posted Barry.

‘Thank you, dear people of Cote d’Ivoire, the diaspora and all of Africa because more than ever your voice has echoed.

‘I invite you to go see the presidents of your clubs, in your locality, your municipality to say your choice and give your voice. If they like you, they will hear you.’

Drogba will go up against Sory Diabate, a member of the outgoing FIF Executive Committee and Idris Diallo, former vice-president of FIF, in the election on 5 September.


Blues linked with Portuguese winger

The Sun reports Chelsea have joined Manchester City and Arsenal in the race to sign young Portuguese winger Joelson Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes has been hailed as the next Cristiano Ronaldo and the Gunners have already made bids to sign the teenager, who is reported to have a £41million release clause in his contract.

‘Arsenal have just had a second offer of £29m turned down by Sporting officials after failing with an £18m opening bid,’ states the report.

‘The Gunners are expected to test the Lisbon club's resolve with an improved offer later this week, with boss Mikel Arteta eager to land the teenager.

‘But reports in Portugal claim both Chelsea and City have contacted Joelson's advisor to discuss potential deals. Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig have also shown interest in the youngster.

‘Guinea-Bissau-born Joelson is the latest in a line of wing wonders produced by Sporting, following in the footsteps of Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Nani.’

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