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'I still want to win trophies' - John Obi Mikel leaves Middlesbrough future in doubt

18:33 IST 06/05/2019
John Obi Mikel - Middlesbrough
Sunday's win over Rotherham was not enough to secure a playoff spot for the Boro, who will continue their plight in the Championship next season

John Obi Mikel is coy about his future at Middlesbrough, after revealing that he has offers from other clubs.

Mikel scored his maiden goal in the Championship on Sunday as Tony Pulis' men ended their season with a 2-1 win over the Rotherham United.

Derby County's win over West Brom saw Boro finish seventh on the league table, a point behind the playoff zone.

Also, the result draws the curtain on the Nigeria international's short-term deal at the Riverside Stadium after arriving as a free agent in January.

Mikel, who is a winner of major honours including two Premier League titles, Uefa Champions League and Europa League winners' medals, is hungry for more silverware but he is open to talks with Middlesbrough.

When quizzed whether he would continue his career with the Teesside outfit, the former Chelsea star told BBC Tees;

"I don't know, you can never say never. My contract ends and that's why I'm saying 'they' (about Boro).

"If there's a conversation, OK, fine. It's a great club, they will find the right players and make sure next season they are in the playoff or automatic promotion.

"We'll see what happens. We'll have a conversation with my people and see what comes up. I have a few options here and there, there's a lot of options, you always have to pick the right one and the way you play and what you want to achieve.

"I still want to win trophies, I'll go somewhere where the players, the team, the fans, the staff, want to win."

Prior to the final drama, Middlesbrough's playoff hopes were dealt a huge blow when they suffered six straight defeats in the English second-tier league in March.

But the former 32-year-old believes Tony Pulis' men can overcome this season's disappointment and challenge for promotion in 2019-20 campaign.

"We just weren't good enough when we lost six games in a row, that just wasn't good enough," continued.

"We went through a bad spell and that is what put us where we are today.

"It's a tough one. Yes, I think the players, there's a lot of good players, we could have with the players we have. I thought we had the players to do it. This club is a big club, next year they will be there or thereabouts again.

"They are not far away. They have good players and a good dressing room. They just need a few bits here and there. They have good players, a great manager. The manager has been fantastic for me.

"I'm sure they will do exactly what they need to do. I'm sure they will look at the team."

After missing Nigeria's games since their 2018 Fifa World Cup exit, Mikel is expected to return Gernot Rohr's squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles have been drawn in Group B against Burundi, Madagascar and Guinea.