John Obi Mikel
John Obi Mikel looks set to end his nine-year spell at ChelseaAFP

Al Ain striker Asamoah Gyan appears to have confirmed that Chelsea's John Obi Mikel has agreed terms to move to Dubai and will be playing alongside him at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium next season.

Mikel, 28, has spent nine years at Stamford Bridge after completing a controversial transfer from Norwegian outfit Lyn in 2006. He is expected to depart the Premier League champions during the upcoming transfer window, with regular first-team opportunities having proved difficult to come by over recent seasons.

The Nigerian international has been limited to just 17 top-flight starts since Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea two summers ago and remains firmly behind both Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas in the established pecking order.

Ramires is also currently vying for that position in midfield, while centre-back Kurt Zouma has proved himself more than capable when deployed in front of the back four. Although a more attack-minded player by nature, the rapid development of Ruben Loftus-Cheek has only served to provide yet more competition for places in an already congested area of a talented squad.

In April, Mikel was briefly linked by with an unlikely switch to Real Madrid prior to former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti's dismissal and the the Daily Express claimed earlier this month that Fenerbahce's sporting director Giuliano Terraneo had travelled to London for preliminary talks over a potential deal.

Links between the player and Al Ain are nothing new, however, with agent Babawo Mohammed having declared two weeks ago that all that remained was for the two clubs to reach an agreement over a fee.

While it is unclear at this stage if that has now happened, Gyan claimed in an interview with Ghana's TV Metro that he heard Mikel had decided to join the UAE Persian Gulf League champions and spoke of his excitement over the impact of such a transfer.

"I heard it this week that he has agreed terms with Al Ain and will most definitely be playing for us next season," the former Sunderland forward said, as reported by Abu Dhabi-based daily The National.

"It's great news for us because Mikel is a very good player and very experienced. It will be exciting playing with him in the same team, because I believe both of us, with the help of our other colleagues, can do more for the club."