- Serie A
Essien completes Milan switch from Chelsea
Michael Essien has completed his move from Chelsea to AC Milan, signing an 18-month contract.
There was talk that the deal had been in jeopardy after doubts arose when a weekend medical raised concerns about a knee problem sustained by Essien, 31.
However, Chelsea announced on Monday via their official Twitter account that the transfer has now been completed.
Just signed my contract to join one of the best clubs in the world.Im very happy and looking forward to winning with the team#ForzaMilan— michael essien (@MichaelEssien) January 27, 2014
Speaking about the departure, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho told the club's official website: "To show Michael respect is to not stop him going. We would have been happy had he stayed because he is fantastic player for the team, but he's given everything for the club and a great chance arrived for his future.
"I know he can continue to play at a high level and I wish him success and happiness in Italy and at the World Cup in Brazil."
The completion of the deal will come as a relief to Milan general manager Adriano Galliani, who had sanctioned Antonio Nocerino's loan to West Ham and would have found the club short on midfielders had the move fallen through.
On Friday, Essien said he was excited about the prospect of working under new Milan coach Clarence Seedorf.
"Milan are a great club," he said. "I've joined the Rossoneri after having spoken to Seedorf. I hope he becomes a great coach."
He also expressed his gratitude to Chelsea for not standing in the way of the move, telling 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."
Mourinho confirmed earlier on Friday that the decision on whether to stay or go would rest solely with Essien, telling a news conference: "If he stays we're more than happy he stays - he is a fantastic club man and a fantastic team player.
"But he's another player who gave everything to this club and, if a great situation for him arrives, he's another one we feel we must show respect and not stop him going."