Despite reports to the contrary, negotiations are continuing between Chelsea and Lyon for midfielder Michael Essien.
Several news sources reported earlier that Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas will not sell the 22-year-old Ghanaian international after rejecting the Blues’ second offer, which he described as “extraordinary”.
Reports now suggest Chelsea’s latest offer was in the region of £16.75m, which wasn’t enough for Aulas who’s holding out for over £20m.
Peter Kenyon is still in negotiations with Lyon and a deal is expected to be reached after the French champions admitted they can’t keep the player against his will.
Essien told French sports daily L’Equipe yesterday: “It is time for me to leave and I will not change my mind. For me, Lyon is over.
“I want to play in England and at Chelsea. In my head I am already at Chelsea. I am dreaming about it.”
It’s obvious Aulas is trying to extract from Peter Kenyon the largest fee he can for Essien. Didier Drogba’s transfer from Marseille last summer followed a similar path — although this time around Chelsea is more likely to abandon their attempts if the fee demanded exceeds their valuation.
Don’t expect them to give up anytime soon though.
Essien move just a matter of time · Update
Fabien Piveteau says Lyon will have to allow the Ghanaian international to leave because the player does not want to stay.
“He is going to Korea [to play in the Peace Cup with Lyon]. But the player has not changed his mind, he still says he wants to go to Chelsea,” he told the BBC.
“It’s a money matter. But they have to find agreement and a price because the player wants to go.”
Essien hopeful of joining Chelsea · Update
“I do not think Lyon will shut the door,” Essien told France football magazine on Friday. “I am confident both clubs will reach an agreement.
“One of the greatest clubs in the world want me. How do you want me to refuse this? Had it not been Chelsea, I would probably stay at Lyon,” said Essien.
“I am now confident the issue will be resolved.”