• Premier League

Essien on verge of Milan move

ESPN staff
January 24, 2014
Michael Essien spent the 2012-13 campaign on loan at Real Madrid from Chelsea © Getty Images

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien said he was excited about the prospect of working under Clarence Seedorf after arriving in Italy ahead of his move to AC Milan.

The 31-year-old landed at the city's Malpensa airport on Friday and is set to sign an 18-month contract with the Rossoneri on Saturday.

"I'm delighted to be here," Essien told reporters awaiting him at the airport. "Milan are a great club. I've joined the Rossoneri after having spoken to Seedorf. I hope he becomes a great coach."

The Dutchman was influential in Essien's decision to leave London, while he was grateful to the Blues for not standing in his way.

"I spoke to Seedorf two days ago and I can't wait to be available to play," he told Milan Channel. "I would like to thank the [Chelsea] president and team and also [manager Jose] Mourinho, who has allowed me to wear this red and black shirt. I will do my best for Milan and I hope to be ready to play immediately."

Should the Ghanaian pass his medical as expected, he could be available to make his debut in Milan's trip to Cagliari on Sunday.

Ghana international Essien is desperate for first-team football ahead of the World Cup finals. He would also be eligible to play for the Serie A side in the Champions League, having not been named in the Blues' squad last August.

Mourinho confirmed earlier on Friday that Essien could be on his way out of the club, with a decision resting on the player himself.

"Michael Essien is, in this moment, in a position where he can go or he can stay," he said. "If he stays we're more than happy he stays - fantastic club man and fantastic team player. If he stays we're more than happy.

"But he's another player who gave everything to this club and, if a great situation for him arrives, for his future or to give him a chance to go to the World Cup with more years of contract and a career at the high level, the same way Chelsea let him go to Madrid when I was there... if something big comes along, he's another one we feel we must show respect and not stop him go. But if he stays, he stays. And if he stays he's playing."

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