United eventually sold Mikel to Chelsea after a drawn-out row over his original transfer from Lyn and the Nigeria midfielder told the News of the World: "All United were after was money. I didn't see why they wanted to wreck my career.

"The thing is, I didn't know the reason why United had to drag the whole thing out. It didn't make any sense.

"FIFA didn't let me train with either team so I was training alone in my neighbourhood.

"But Chelsea fought for me and when people do things like that, it's difficult to abandon them.

"That's why I'll be at Chelsea for a very long time."