Few players had the cajones to say no to Sir Alex Ferguson, but one of Chelsea’s most reliable players did just that to the legendary Manchester United manager

John Obi Mikel had to tell FIFA he signed for Manchester United by “accident” so he could force through a move to Chelsea.

In 2005, the Nigerian lit the fuse on one of the most spectacular transfer disputes in Premier League history, when he signed for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and even posed for pictures in a United shirt. However, he then went on to join Chelsea days later for £18million, in a deal which saw the Red Devils receive £14m and Norwegian side Lyn paid £4m.

As the confusion between United and Chelsea continued to escalate, Mikel had a lot of explaining to do.

“Sir Alex thought he got me, yeah. I did the press conference and it was everywhere,” Mikel said to talkSPORT. “Then obviously Roman [Abramovich], everybody at Chelsea, saw it and they were like, ‘What’s going on here? We’ve been looking at this player for two or three years now, what’s happening here?’

“Obviously they sent my agent down to Lyn and then he came down to Norway, and then for a couple of hours I went missing. He took me out from my apartment where I used to live with a couple of my friends.

“He was like, ‘we need to go back to London, I need to get you out of Norway right now because what you’ve done right now, it’s so much of a problem with Chelsea and Roman is not happy.’

“So my agent took me to a hotel and then the next morning we flew down to London, and the rest was history. Then it took me about a year, I couldn’t play for either United or Chelsea because FIFA was like, ‘OK we need to resolve this.’ So I went to FIFA and I was like, ‘I didn’t mean to sign for United’.”

Mikel went on to make 372 appearances for the Blues, contributing six goals and 13 assists.

Throughout this period, he played a huge part in winning the Champions League, two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Europa League and two League Cups.

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