Chelsea set to sign Essien for £27m

Chelsea are closing in on Lyon midfielder Michael Essien, according to reports.

Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas has held secret talks with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, despite previously calling off all negotiations.

The Blues’ efforts to sign the Ghanaian had appeared over when Aulas said the 22-year-old would stay at Lyon.

But it now seems that Essien will move to Stamford Bridge before the weekend after presenting Aulas with no option but to reconsider his position after saying he would not sign any new contract Lyon offered.

Peter Kenyon is now expected to fly out to France to conclude the summer-long transfer saga within the next two days after the clubs agreed on a £27m deal.

Essien fee thought to be £24m · Update

The fee agreed with Lyon for Michael Essien is now reported to be in the region of £24m.

Lyon continue to “stand firm” · Update

I’m loath to add this update because of Jean-Michel Aulas’ reputation, but in the interests of keeping up-to-date with developments here’s what the French windbag has apparently said in response to the above reports:

“Contrary to numerous reports in the English press, Jean-Michel Aulas confirms that there is no agreement between Chelsea and Lyon over midfielder Michael Essien.

“The president of the four-times French champions remains committed to the position he laid out in Monday’s chat with”

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