John Mikel Obi has joined Al Kuwait SC on a one-year contract despite extending his deal with English Championship outfit Stoke City just last month.
Obi was handed a one-year extension by Stoke after he impressed throughout the 2020-21 season.
But the former Super Eagles captain has opted out of remaining at the bet365 Stadium for the upcoming season and has now linked up with the Kuwaiti Premier League side who finished third in the division last season behind Al-Qadsia and champions Al-Arabi.
Stoke boss Michael O’Neill told the club’s official website: “Although John triggered the second year of his contract, we always had an agreement in place whereby we would let him leave if a significant overseas opportunity came along.
“John is a fantastic professional and was a huge presence for us last season both on and off the field, particularly with the young players in our first-team squad.
“I really enjoyed working with him and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his contribution and wish him every success for the future.”
The 34-year-old joined Stoke in August last year and made 41 appearances for them across all competitions as they finished 14th in the Championship table.
He was previously at Turkish outfit Trabzonspor but terminated his contract over a dispute with the Super Lig continuing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He’d also spent two years with Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League and played for Middlesbrough before his move to Turkey.
But Obi however is best known for spending 11 years and making 372 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea.
During his time in west London, Obi won no fewer than nine trophies at Stamford Bridge, including two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and one Champions League and Europa League crown.
Obi also made 91 appearances for the Super Eagles between 2005 and his international retirement two years ago, scoring six goals in the process.
He was part of their squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and three bronze medals at the same tournament in 2006, 2010 and 2019.
He was a member of the team that won a medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio after beating Honduras in the bronze medal match in Belo Horizonte.