Besiktas will relaunch their efforts to sign Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel in January should their coach give the move the green light. Mikel, 28, has spent eight years at Stamford Bridge but has become an increasingly marginal figure in recent seasons.
Turkish side Besiktas were strongly linked with a move for the Nigeria international during the summer transfer window, as reported by the Daily Mail, while his international teammate Asamoah Gyan also claimed a move to Dubai side Al Ain was on the cards at one point.
Jose Mourinho, however, insisted Mikel would remain as one of his midfield options, but Besitkas remain firmly in the hunt for the player and could test the Blues' resolve with another bid during the January transfer window.
"If [Besiktas head coach Senol] Gunes had given the go-ahead we were going to sign Mikel [last summer], and we could enter the race again over the winter break," Besiktas club president Fikret Oman was quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.
Elsewhere, Chelsea reportedly have concerns over the short-term futures of two young starlets who have left the club on loan. According to the Evening Standard, the Blues are considering recalling striker Patrick Bamford from his loan spell at Crystal Palace, due to his lack of appearances for their first team. The 22-year-old, who was named Championship player of the year while on loan at Middlesbrough last season, has started just one match under Alan Pardew this campaign – a third round League Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town. This has prompted concerns from staff at Stamford Bridge, who are eager to see the academy product get the games needed to continue his development.
Italian website Tutto Mercato Web claims the Premier League champions have similar concerns over Nathaniel Chalobah. The midfielder made a surprise loan move to Serie A giants Napoli on the final day of the summer transfer window but has been limited to just five minutes of first team action so far.