A picture was shared on Chinese website Webo of former Chelsea midfielder and super eagle’s player John Mikel Obi shaking hands with a Tianjin club official and holding the club’s shirt.
Mikel, who had been frozen out of Chelsea’s first team this season with N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic, Nathaniel Chalobah and Cesc Fabregas ahead in the pecking roder, will reportedly earn £140,000 a week.
Mikel said in a statement:
“As you will know, I haven’t featured as much this season as I would have liked, and at 29 I still have many years in the game ahead of me.
“With this in mind, I feel now is the time to seek a new challenge.”I’m delighted to be joining Tianjin TEDA FC in China, at a time that the Chinese Super League is really taking off, and I look forward to helping Tianjin TEDA FC continue to grow both on and off the pitch in the next few years.”
He added: To Mr Abramovich, the club’s staff, coaches, physios, and to the managers I played under at Chelsea, I want to say ‘thank you.’
“To everyone at Chelsea — goodbye, and thank you. You will always be part of who I am, and I wish you the best of luck. I could not be happier to be saying goodbye with the club back where it belongs — top of the league.”
The 29-year-old underwent a medical on Thursday as he prepared to become the second player to swap West London for the Far East, following Oscar who has signed for Shanghai SIPG.
The Nigerian international had held talks with Valencia, while Marseille and Inter Milan also showed interest.
Mikel spent 11 years at Stamford Bridge after controversially joining Chelsea, despite appearing at a Manchester United press conference and posing with a United shirt with his name on it.
He is understood to have signed a three-year deal, after a successful spell in England, winning the Champions League, two Premier League titles and four FA Cups.
He played in pre-season with Chelsea last summer but then left the squad to win an Olympic bronze medal with Nigeria in Rio and has not found a way back into Conte’s plans since.