Chelsea cult hero John Obi Mikel has insisted his former side “needs Roman Abramovich”, after rumours emerged he was to sell the club.
Abramovich only last week turned down a bid from the UK’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe, to take the club off his hands.
Ratcliffe, the billionaire boss of multinational petrochemicals giant Ineos and a season-ticket holder at Stamford Bridge, was understood to have approached the Russian businessman amidst rumours he would be prepared to sell up.
Chelsea and Abramovich have refused to publicly comment on the approach from Ratcliffe, however it is understood the Englishman was quickly rebuffed in his attempts to buy the Blues, with Abramovich stating he remains happy at Stamford Bridge.
And Mikel, who spent over a decade with the club between 2006-2017, says he hopes it remains the way, insisting the Russian remains an integral part of Chelsea Football Club.
“Well I think the only time you see Roman is when you stop winning games!” Mikel told ESPN FC when asked about his memories of Abramovich during his time at The Bridge.
“But he’s always there, he comes to the games all the time to watch the games.
“Maybe he might not come down every game to the dressing room, but once in a while he comes down, talks to the players.
“He comes to Cobham as well to see the players.
“With Roman you never know when he’s coming in and he likes to surprise us.
“He loves his football, he’s passionate about his football. He’s invested a lot into the game, into Chelsea.
“I hope he can continue to do that for many, many more years to come and remain a Chelsea owner.
“This club needs Roman, it’s as simple as that.”
Mikel, 31, travels to this summer’s World Cup as part of Salisu Yusuf’s 23-man Nigeria squad.