Mikel calls for 'dialogue' with United to resolve transfer wrangle

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The Independent Football

John Obi Mikel has pleaded with Manchester United to come to the negotiating table and give him a chance to complete his dream move to Chelsea.

The Nigerian's career is currently on hold while legal wranglings decide whether the contract he signed with the Norwegian club Lyn Oslo last year is valid.

It has emerged that United have presented written documentation to Fifa accusing Chelsea of trying to sabotage their deal with Lyn and have called on the world governing body to ban the Londoners from making any further transfers.

In addition, there have also been claims of death threats being made to prevent Mikel pursuing a career with United, something the 18-year-old publicly states he no longer wishes to do anyway.

Having refused to return to Lyn, despite being ordered to by Fifa last year, Mikel is distraught that the row over his contract has erupted again while he is on African Nations' Cup duty with his country in Egypt.

But, on the day he made his first international start and helped Nigeria move into the last eight with a 2-1 win over Senegal, Mikel called for the impasse over his future to be ended, and for United to free him to continue his career.

"Mikel is very concerned that Manchester United has failed to accept his decision as to where he wants to play or to enter into any sort of constructive dialogue to resolve this dispute," said a statement released by the solicitors, Russells, who act on Mikel's behalf.

"We are willing to meet whenever, wherever and with whoever in order to break this deadlock."

In the game itself Soulemayne Camara put Senegal ahead but two headers from Obafemi Martins - the second from a Mikel free-kick - secured a win for Nigeria, which relegated their opponents to second place in Group D and a quarter-final against Guinea.

Senegal qualified in second place as Ghana self-destructed in a surprise 2-1 defeat to Zimbabwe.