Mikel, Middlesbrough sign short-term deal

Middlesbrough have signed Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi on a short-term deal, the Championship club said on Thursday.

The 31-year-old arrives at the Riverside Stadium as a free agent after leaving China’s Tianjin Teda at the end of the Chinese Super League season in November.

Mikel had 11-year stint with Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the Champions League in 2012.

 “I’m pleased to get him in. He is a man with a lot of experience and quality,” Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis said in a statement.

“He has a winning mentality and he wants to be here to be a part of what we are looking to achieve.”

Mikel becomes Pulis’ second signing of the January window, following the arrival of Rajiv van La Parra on loan from Huddersfield Town.

Middlesbrough, who are bidding to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2016-17, are currently fifth in the Championship table.