stars in Europe - AC Milan set to sign Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien
Chelsea have agreed a deal with AC Milan to sell midfielder Michael Essien to the Italian side. Essien has flown in for talks and a medical with Clarence Seedorf's underachieving Serie A club.
The Ghana international, who joined Chelsea in 2005, has made nine appearances this season since returning from a loan spell at Real Madrid. "I'm happy to be here. I will do my best for Milan and I hope to be ready to play," the 31-year-old said. "I spoke with Mr Seedorf two days ago. I cannot wait to be available. "I really want to thank the chairman and the team and thanks to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who has allowed me to wear the Rossoneri shirt." Essien was Chelsea's record signing when he arrived from Lyon for £24.4m.
He helped them win the Champions League - although he was an unused substitute in their 2012 final triumph over Bayern Munich - as well as two Premier League titles and four FA Cups. He made only 10 league starts in 2011-12 following an injury-hit year and moved to Real Madrid on loan last summer.
Following 35 appearances with the Spanish giants under Mourinho, he followed the coach back to Chelsea after his loan spell ended. However he has struggled for a place in the team this year, starting only two Premier League matches since his return, and the £21m signing of Nemanja Matic has further decreased his chances of playing.
Seedorf was named Milan boss last week after Massimiliano Allegri was sacked with the club 11th in the table.