Botafogo will wait until the end of the coronavirus pandemic before deciding whether to resume talks with former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, a senior club official said on Monday.
The Brazilian Serie A giants began negotiating with the Nigerian’s representatives last month after aborting their pursuit of former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure.
According to Botafogo director Carlos Augusto Montanegro, Mikel rejected the club’s initial proposal.
“We’re not talking to anyone during the pandemic. Everything has stopped,” Montanegro told the Globo newspaper. “We couldn’t meet Mikel’s [salary] demands and that’s when the talks stalled.”
Earlier this month, Mikel confirmed that he had spoken with Botafogo officials and said he was thinking about whether to accept an offer.
Several Brazilian media outlets have reported in recent days that Botafogo’s Brazilian top-flight rivals Internacional are also interested in signing the 32-year-old.
Mikel is a free agent after parting ways with Turkey’s Trabzonspor last month. Botafogo have already made one marquee signing this year, with Japanese playmaker Keisuke Honda joining on a free transfer in January.
Brazil’s major football competitions have been suspended since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.