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Page last updated at 08:35 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 09:35 UK

Essien signs new Chelsea contract

Michael Essien
Essien has committed his long-term future to Chelsea

Chelsea's Michael Essien has signed a new five-year deal - following keeper Petr Cech and defender Wayne Bridge in committing his future to the club.

The Ghana midfielder, 25, has been a major success since joining Chelsea from Lyon for 24m in 2005.

He said: "I am very happy here. We have a great team and fantastic fans who have always made me welcome.

"With the addition of the new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, I am feeling very positive about the season ahead."

606: DEBATE

The deal means that Essien is contracted to Chelsea until 2013. It was revealed on Monday that Cech had signed a five-year deal with the Blues, while Bridge put pen to paper on a new four-year contract last week.

Scolari, who has had to endure much speculation about the future of midfielder Frank Lampard since taking over as Chelsea manager this month, is delighted that Essien has pledged his future to the London club.

"I have not been here long but it is clear to me that Michael Essien is one of the best midfield players in the world," stated the former Portugal boss.

"I have always admired him and it is good news for me and for Chelsea that he signs for so long."




see also
I'll wait for Lampard - Mourinho
21 Jul 08 |  Chelsea
Makelele leaves Chelsea for PSG
21 Jul 08 |  Europe
Cech signs new Chelsea contract
21 Jul 08 |  Chelsea
Chelsea talks over Robinho stall
21 Jul 08 |  Chelsea


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