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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 04:31 GMT 05:31 UK
Ferguson voices concerns over Obi
Sir Alex Ferguson
The manner in which he and his family have been treated is disgusting
Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is confident John Mikel Obi wants to join his club but has been pressured into saying he does not.

Nigerian midfielder Mikel, 18, signed for United in April before claiming he had done so against his will and actually wanted to join Chelsea.

But Ferguson told the Daily Express: "I don't believe it is true that Mikel doesn't want to join United.

"The lad has been forced to say it. His family was put under pressure."

Mikel's current club, Lyn Oslo, expect Fifa to resolve the transfer saga by the end of this month.

In April, Mikel was pictured signing a United contract while wearing the club's familiar red shirt.

But he then claimed he felt under pressure and flew to London with his agent John Shittu in a bid to seal a move to Chelsea.

John Mikel Obi
Which club is youngster John Mikel Obi heading to?

Now Ferguson says the pressure has not come from Manchester United in seeking to gain the signature, but from the agent and his camp in switching the youngster's allegiance to the Blues.

Ferguson added: "The circumstances are very sad. The manner I believe in which he and his family have been treated and pressured is, honestly, purely disgusting."

Lyn managing director Morgan Andersen is not happy with Chelsea's attempts to sign the player, even though the Stamford Bridge outfit have previously insisted there has been no contact between themselves and the player.

He said: "If they had respected us, things might have been different. They overlooked us until the last few weeks and then what they offered was not good enough.

"I don't say Chelsea can't be angry about it, but the transfer is in order and if they claim to have rights to Mikel, they have done something illegal and I expect Fifa to take that very seriously."

Obi's agent fined for smuggling
29 Sep 05 |  African
Lyn optimistic over Obi transfer
20 Sep 05 |  African
Lyn coach welcomes Nigeria's Obi
08 Sep 05 |  African


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