By Godwin Aikigbe
Sportsrollcall.com understands that former Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel is expected to return to Rockliffe today to finalise Middlesbrough switch.
The Nigeria captain who played last two season in the Chinese Super League with Tiajin TEDA has agreed personal terms with the Championship side after the medical results and is expected back at Rockliffe today to complete the formalities
The Champions League winning anchor man was at Boro’s Hurworth HQ on Monday for advanced talks about a move.
Mikel, 31, agreed an outline personal package and also completed the first phase of a medical.
Then yesterday he took a second round of stringent examinations and returned home to see his family while awaiting results.
His advisors and Boro chiefs were still fine-tuning the contractual details on a short term switch yesterday.
But with positive noises coming from both sides, Boro hope the deal can now be rubber-stamped swiftly.
Mikel is a free agent after leaving Chinese club Tianjin Teda by mutual consent last month.
He was in China for 18 months on a lucrative contract but never really settled and his partner remained in England.
He is keen for the challenge of playing regular football in a competitive environment and is believed to find a promotion push under Tony Pulis an attractive proposition.
He has visited Rockliffe several times over the past few weeks to meet Pulis and the Hurworth hierarchy.
There was some interest from top-flight Crystal Palace but Eagles boss Roy Hodgson couldn’t offer him the first-team action he craves.
Boro also had to fend off late approaches from a couple of Championship clubs including Derby, now managed by his former Chelsea team mate Frank Lampard.
German club Wolfsburg and Italian outfit Roma were also keen but Mikel wants to be in England.
With the medical results due today and the fine-tuning all but complete the much-decorated player is expected to seal the deal.
Boro will then have to apply for international clearance and a work permit but given his stature that should be a formality.
Mikel was a holding midfielder in his 11 trophy laden years at Stamford Bridge but has played further forward with Nigeria.
Pulis is already well stocked in midfield but hopes the quality and experience of Mikel will improve his options.