Mikel said that the move was about staying in a club where he would get to play matches, stay fit and ultimately help Nigeria on their road to the 2018 World Cup in Brazil.
According to the 29-year-old,
"I could easily have stayed in Chelsea for the remaining six months of my contract but it won’t be in the best interest of my nation, as they need me match fit when the World Cup 2018 qualifiers resume.
"It wasn’t an easy decision to make but I seriously need matches to stay fit for Nigeria. Nigerians don’t deserve to miss out of the World Cup after back to back failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations."