Chelsea's John Obi Mikel releases heartfelt statement as he becomes latest star to move to China in big-money deal
John Obi Mikel has become the latest Chelsea player to head to the Chinese Super League after announcing he is joining Tianjin TEDA.
After Oscar recently departed Stamford Bridge to sign for Shanghai SIPG, Mikel revealed on Twitter he was heading in the same direction following a 10-year stay at Chelsea.
The midfielder has failed to break into the Chelsea side under Antonio Conte this season.
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."
Mikel won 11 trophies with Chelsea during a spell at the club which consisted of 374 appearances.
"To play in the Premier League, the best league in the world, is every professional player's ambition," the 29-year-old added.
"But to play for Chelsea, to become part of the Chelsea family, to work with some of the best managers and players in the world, has truly been an honour.
"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."