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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 July, 2005, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Chelsea set to miss out on Essien
By Andrew McKenzie

Lyon midfielder Michael Essien
Lyon midfielder Michael Essien appears to have missed out on his dream move to the Premiership this summer, according to the player's agent.

Essien, 22, has been the subject of a reported 26m bid from Chelsea, while Manchester United have also shown interest in the Ghana international.

But agent Fabien Piveteau told BBC Sport: "The chairman of Lyon wants to keep the player for one more year.

"It's not a problem because he's a young player and Lyon is a good club."

He added: "If it is possible to leave for a big club in England then that is better, but the problem is it is not Michael deciding and it is not me."

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas had earlier told French sports daily L'Equipe that any offer would have to be "considerably higher" than 26m.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho admitted he would be looking to bolster his midfield before next season and appeared to have earmarked Essien for that role.

But with the Blues now seemingly turning their attentions to Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, it appears Essien could be set to stay with the French champions.

Piveteau added: "For now there is no news. We have not heard anything from Chelsea.

"There were reports in England that Manchester United had renewed their interest. I don't know if it's true or not."

Last season Essien was voted Player of the Year by France's National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP).


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