Valencia confirm transfer talks with Chelsea's John Obi Mikel

Valencia sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch has held talks with Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel over a possible transfer to the Mestalla stadium.

Mikel, 29, has not featured for Chelsea this season and becomes a free agent in the summer.

The Nigeria international is reportedly set to leave the Blues this month and Valencia have joined the race to acquire the experienced player, who has received offers from Inter Milan, Marseille and the Chinese Super League.

Garcia Pitarch said, as reported in Superdeporte: "In the case of Obi Mikel, with Chelsea's permission, I met with him in London on Christmas day.

"I informed him of the option [of joining Valencia]. He said he would think about it."

Valencia are looking to reinforce their squad this month in a bid to turn their fortunes around.

With just three wins in their 15 league games, Los Che are 17th in La Liga and level on 12 points with Sporting Gijon, who are in the relegation zone.

Obi Mikel's transfer has, however, been put on standby as the struggling side are looking for a new coach following Cesare Prandelli's decision to resign on Friday after less than three months in charge.

The former Italy coach stepped down following a disagreement with the club owners over transfers.

"Now we will have to evaluate the situation," Garcia Pitarch added.

Obi Mikel has made over 240 appearances for Chelsea since joining the club in the summer of 2006 from Norwegian side Lyn.

Valencia host Celta Vigo in Tuesday's Copa del Rey round-of-16 first leg with the former club player Voro Gonzalez stepping in as interim coach for the second time this season and fifth overall.