Fifa ready to resolve saga of Mikel's transfer to United

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The Independent Online

Lyn Oslo expect Fifa to resolve the Jon Obi Mikel transfer saga by the end of October. The Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Manchester United's chief executive, David Gill, flew to Norway on Monday to meet Lyn's director of football, Morgan Anderson, and go through the final details of a joint submission which has to be handed to the game's world governing body by 30 September.

Even those discussions have become the subject of controversy in an increasingly acrimonious dispute over Mikel's transfer to United, with the player's agent, John Shittu, claiming Ferguson tried to arrange a secret meeting with the player, something Anderson denies.

Once the papers are in, both sides will be allowed to make further observations on the evidence before Fifa's dispute resolution chamber determines whether Mikel's move to United should go through in January as planned.

The 18-year-old claims he was bullied into signing the contract and does not wish to join United. United have denied the bullying allegations and together with their Lyn counterparts insist Mikel was initially delighted to sign for United, hinting that the player had been influenced to change his mind once the transfer had been completed.

Under Fifa orders, Mikel has now returned to the Norwegian capital, and is staying in a hotel with Shittu, something Anderson feels is detrimental to the youngster's performances.

"Jon has played two games since he came back to us but unfortunately, he is not in the same physical shape as he was when he left," said Anderson.

"I would like to stress at no stage was there any intention to hold a secret meeting between the player and Sir Alex Ferguson. Mr Ferguson and David Gill came here for discussions on the best way to prepare our case, just as I flew out to Manchester for the same thing last week.

"Hopefully the case will be resolved by the end of October. We have gone about things in the right way and we have nothing to be ashamed of."

Mikel has already declared his ambition to join Chelsea, even though the Stamford Bridge club have insisted there has been no contact with the player.

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