John Obi Mikel has turned down the opportunity to join Sheffield United in favour of Trabzonspor, according to the Sun.

Mikel held talks with newly promoted Premier League duo the Blades and Norwich City. However, the midfielder has instead signed a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months with the Turkish side.

Trabzonspor finished fourth in the Super Lig last season and qualified for the Europa League third qualifying round. This chance to play in Europe may have been what swung the decision in their favour.

Mikel was a free agent after leaving Middlesbrough at the end of last season. The 32-year-old would have brought bags of experience with him to Bramall Lane, having played 249 times for Chelsea in the top flight of English football.

The Nigeria international spent 11 years with the Blues, winning two league titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup, Europa League and Champions League.

Mikel is currently away at the African Cup of Nations in Egypt, where he is captaining Nigeria after a year out of their team.

Why would Sheffield United want John Obi Mikel?

(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Blades are looking to strengthen their squad following their promotion from the Championship. An area where they are currently lacking options is in central midfield.

Oliver Norwood and John Fleck formed a fine partnership in the middle last term. They are expected to continue to try and do so in 2019/20.

However, beyond them John Lundstram offers the only cover. This is after making the decision to release Paul Coutts.

Luke Freeman is expected to join the South Yorkshire club, with manager Chris Wilder telling Sky Sports News a deal is close.

While considered more of an attacking presence, Freeman can operate slightly deeper. Yet support still will be needed in the midfield.

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