Peter Kenyon left the club’s tour of the United States to fly to Lyons in an attempt to finalise the deal, which Mourinho said would complete his summer signings.
Chelsea have had previous bids of £17 million and £18 million turned down by Lyons, but Essien has made it clear that he wants to leave and the club are resigned to losing their prize asset.
Kenyon hopes to complete the deal within 48 hours and rejoin Chelsea in the United States, in time for the second match against AC Milan in New York on Sunday.
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