Mikel joins Trabzonspor on free transfer

John Obi Mikel, Middlesbrough Richard Sellers/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has joined Turkish club Trabzonspor on a two-year deal with an option for another year, the club announced on Sunday night.

Mikel, 32, joins on a free transfer from Middlesbrough after his short-term deal ran out at the end of last season.

The midfielder, who made 18 Championship appearances for Boro, spent over 10 years in the Premier League with Chelsea before leaving for China where he played the last two seasons with Tianjin TEDA.

Mikel is currently in Egypt representing Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, and he told ESPN exclusively why he chose the Turkish club.

"I am very happy to go there. It's a good project and they are an ambitious club who are also playing in the Europa League and that is the level I want to play at," he said.

Mikel swells the number of Nigerians at the club to three, joining midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and forward Anthony Nwakaeme.

Trabzonspor finished fourth in the Turkish Super Lig last season, just four points off Champions League qualification.