However, subsequent reports indicated that Chelsea claimed to have been involved in arranging the player's original move to Europe with a view to signing him at a later date.Further substance was added to this claim after it was revealed that the player had impressed Chelsea manager José Mourinho while training with the club's first-team squad during the summer of 2004.On 19 July 2006, Chelsea were granted a work permit for the midfielder after they completed the £16 million signing in June 2006. In the aftermath of the transfer, Morgan Andersen, who had a previous conviction for forging official documents, was convicted of fraud and making false accusations and given a one-year suspended jail sentence by an Oslo court.The court also ordered him to pay 20,000 kroner (£1,944) in costs. Chelsea made a High Court claim for £16m against FC Lyn Oslo and Andersen following the conviction, claiming that the previously agreed settlement was not binding as "the transfer was based on a fraudulent misrepresentation, now proven by a court of law". This claim was subsequently resolved out of court. Having made his debut against Liverpool in the Community Shield, Mikel impressed on his first start for Chelsea on 27 September 2006, in the UEFA Champions League against Levski Sofia.In the summer of 2005, Mikel again starred for his country at youth level in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships, helping Nigeria to the final when they lost 2-1 to Argentina.
Antonio Conte is keen to bolster his defensive options at this crucial stage of the season.
Mikel told the British media that Chelsea were the club he genuinely wanted to sign for.
In response to these events, United made an official complaint to FIFA about the behaviour of both Chelsea and the player's agents, John Shittu and Rune Hauge, already infamous for his role in the George Graham bungs scandal. FIFA dismissed these claims in August 2005 stating there was insufficient evidence to bring a case against Chelsea.
Mikel expressed his delight at joining United in a press conference, where he was pictured holding up a Manchester United shirt, which bore the squad number 21.
On , the midfielder went missing during a Norwegian Cup game against Klemetsrud; he had not been selected for the match but had been watching from the stands.