Luiz Felipe Scolari played host to Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu last week at Cobham last week, as the pair continued their close working relationship.

Scolari, himself an experienced coach at international level, has spoken to Amodu regularly over the past couple of months in relation to John Mikel Obi, who has shown fine form.

The young midfielder was excused international duty last month by Amodu, who was happy to explain the reasons.

'First and foremost, last month I was here with the federation representative and we came and had a chat with Luiz Felipe Scolari, and at that time he discussed with us about Mikel and the injury worries at his club,' he began.

'We said to him he can have Mikel since we are not at a very precarious position with the World Cup qualifiers. He was obviously appreciative and asked that we keep this relationship because it could be me tomorrow that requires help.'

Indeed Mikel, 21, has been an integral part of the side this season, particularly in the extended absences of other midfielders Michael Ballack and Michael Essien. Amodu was keen to speak to his player, something he does regularly.

'Mikel too was happy to see me, but he expressed some surprise!' said the coach. 'I explained to him why I am here and he can understand. I speak to Mikel as often as possible, we speak all the time.'

He was impressed with our state-of-the-art training facilities, and enjoyed watching Scolari in action on the training field during his short stay in England.

'I am on a working tour of Europe to see the players and managers, and I decided to make Chelsea a port of call for this relationship, and to share some technical experiences.

'I will be here to watch training before I leave, so it has been excellent and he has been very warm, I appreciate it and would like to thank the management of Chelsea for this reception, and particularly Scolari for being a wonderful colleague.'

Nigeria are safely through to the second round of World Cup qualifying, where they are in a group of four alongside Kenya, Mozambique and Tunisia. The qualifiers kick off again at the end of March.

The Ivory Coast, represented at Chelsea by Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou will meet Malawi, Guinea and Burkina Faso in their group, while Michael Essien's Ghana face Benin, Mali and Sudan.