Tianjin Teda Coach Reacts To Mikel's Transfer Rumors, Why Midfielder Is In Starting XI TodayPublished: August 18, 2018
Tianjin Teda coach Uli Stielike has reacted to speculation linking John Obi Mikel with a departure from the Chinese club before the expiration of his contract at the end of the 2019 season.
In recent days, the Nigeria skipper has been linked with a return to Europe and the news came at a time when the defensive midfielder lost his spot in the starting lineup after recovering from a knee injury.
Because of the foreign quota rule, manager Uli Stielike picked Ghanaian Acheampong, Brazilian Johnathan and the German Bastians as the three foreigners in the squad, leaving Mikel in the cold.
In the ongoing game between Tiajin Teda and Jiangsu Suning FC, Mikel was reinstated in the starting lineup simply because the in-form Brazilian striker failed a fitness test.
Speaking to the media on Friday ahead of today's game at Tianjin Olympic Sports Centre, manager Stielike stated : ''I don't know about this news, and I am not interested. We only want to focus on this year's league.
''As for whether Mikel will play tomorrow, it depends on whether Jonathan can recover''.
Mikel has not featured in six matches for Tianjin Teda since Chinese Super League play resumed after the World Cup break.
Photo Credit : fifa.com
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