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Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has claimed that Antonio Conte showed him a lack of respect prior to his departure.

The Nigeria international was a Chelsea player for 10 years prior to the arrival of Conte, and was frozen out of the first team before being sold to China in January 2017.

Mikel never featured for Chelsea under Conte, and the Nigerian has bared his mind for the first time since leaving Chelsea.

He told The Sun about his time in Chelsea: “Definitely it was the right time [to leave] because when you have a manager who…you have to come in whoever you are – manager or player – there are people who have been there before who made this club what it is today.

“Chelsea is nowhere near what it was 10, 15 years ago. There are players that build and build and build, then it’s all about respect.

“When you don’t get that from a manager who comes in and after five minutes decides to make a change you deal with it, you move on.

“My connection with the club has not changed because of the manager or because of a certain person.

“My relationship with the club remains. I am a blue and I want to remain that way for years and years to come.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.