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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 3, 2006

Mikel enjoying life at Stamford Bridge

Mikel John Obi has expressed his relief that his dream move to Chelsea has finally become a reality.

He caused quite a stir when he signed for Manchester United only to controversially change his mind and move to Stamford Bridge.

The long-running saga will cost billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich £16million, with United getting £12million and Norwegian side Lyn Oslo landing £4million.

The 19-year-old was forced to train alone in Nigeria without team-mates to comfort him as the row rumbled on.

Mikel also had problems obtaining a work permit but now he is glad those troubles are behind him.

He said: 'I am very, very happy to be here because I have been away from football for the last couple of months.

'I am happy that I can now play. It's good to be here with my friends. I really like it.

'It was difficult for me but I am very happy everything has been resolved.

'It is such a relief that I can now get on the pitch and play. I am very happy to be here where I want to be.

'I have been here two days practising with the team. It has been tough but good and the fitness level is getting better.'

The media were stopped from delving too deep into what prompted his change of heart.

The youngster actually held a press conference in Norway and was happily presented with a United shirt by coach Jimmy Ryan.

But a Chelsea spokesman said: 'There was a joint statement issued between the two clubs and beyond anything that has already been said there is a confidentiality agreement.

'Both sides have promised not to say anymore on the subject.'

Manager Jose Mourinho has backed him to become one of the world's greatest players in two seasons if he keeps his feet on the ground.

But he is hoping to play a role this season despite stiff competition from the likes of Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard.

Mikel said: 'Hopefully I will get my opportunity but that depends on the manager.

'I am a player and I will just have to work hard and show them that I should be playing in the team.

'I will work hard in practice and it is then up to the manager.'