A representative of Obi Mikel at the weekend shaded more light on the circumstances that led to the Chelsea midfielder not answering the phone calls made by Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh and the text messages he sent.
The Nigerian intermediary stated that his client did not read the text messages sent by Oliseh and several others because he does not have their numbers stored on his phone, adding that the midfielder is being harassed by several Nigerians who managed to get his phone number.
“Mikel saw Oliseh’s call but didn’t answer because he doesn’t know his number, ”Mikel’s rep told allnigeriasoccer.com.
“There are a lot of messages on his phone he doesn’t read. So many Nigerians have his number and they keep disturbing him.
“Right now Mikel is worried that he is not in Chelsea’s first team and breaking into the team is what is on his mind.”
It remains to be seen if Sunday Oliseh’s omission of Mikel from his roster will not backfire, with uncertainties surrounding the fitness of two invited midfielders, Anzhi’s Lukman Haruna and Joel Obi of Torino.
In a related development, John Mikel Obi is still available for Nigeria duty despite not being involved since November, according to the player’s representative John Shittu.
New Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh said he omitted Mikel from his first squad because the player was could not be reach.
However, Shittu told BBC Sport: “Mikel will never turn his back on Nigeria.
“He loves playing for his country and this is just a miscommunication between coach and player.”
On Thursday, Oliseh explained to local media in Abuja why Mikel was not part of his plans for next month’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Tanzania.
“I was in England early this month and I put a call through to Mikel. I called him four times, the phone kept ringing. I sent him a text message, I got no response,” Oliseh revealed.
“I called his Chelsea team-mate and compatriot [Victor] Moses and we met after the Community Shield.
“I didn’t hear from Mikel to acknowledge my calls or text until I travelled back home [on 6 August].
“But after our training [on 19 August] I saw a missed call [from Mikel] on my phone so at the moment I really don’t know what the situation is now.”
Shittu insists Mikel has not been deliberately evasive.
“Mikel sincerely missed the calls and wasn’t sure who called. Once he realised who it was he made efforts to reach Sunday Oliseh but could not speak to him.” he said.