Super Eagles’ captain, John Mikel Obi has surprisingly opted for a return to England in the January transfer window, but he will now line out in the lower division with Middlesbrough.
Mikel takes after Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Kenneth Omeruo as the next Nigerian to star for Boro, who have been oscillating with spots in the English Premier League and Championship in recent years.
Footballlive.ng gathered that Mikel has already agreed personal terms with Middlesbrough and went for a medical on Tuesday.
The former Chelsea star, who shred his contract with Tianjin Teda of China last month, has also held talks with Boro manager, Tony Pulis at the Middlesbrough training ground.
Following their discussion last week, Mikel got a view of what is expected of him at The Riverside, and agreed terms on a short-term deal with the Championship club.
Mikel is back in England after a two-year spell in China and wants to resume playing this month in the UK, where his wife and children have stayed after his move abroad.
The 31-year-old spent 11 years at Chelsea, with which he won one UEFA Champions League title, two Premier League titles, one Europa League, three English FA Cups and the EFL League Cup.
Mikel’s successful stint at Stamford Bridge, most notably winning the Champions League in 2012, is still resonating, such that Crystal Palace have also been credited with an interest in the Eagles’ skipper.
The former Lyn Oslo of Norway star is still a cult figure with The Blues, although Chelsea chose not to renew his contract at the end of the 2016-2017 season and was allowed to join Teda on a free, after 372 matches.