Chelsea signs Essien for £26 million

Monday, August 15, 2005

Michael Essien will sign a contract worth £26 million (US$47 million, €38 million) with the London football club Chelsea. The record-breaking offer from Chelsea was accepted by the French club Lyon on Monday. Several of Chelsea's previous offers were rejected.

Essien, the 22-year old Ghanian midlfielder, did not sign the 5-year contract on Tuesday as planned, because Lyon delayed sending the necessary forms to complete the transfer. Lyon will receive Chelsea player Tiago along with the payment worth one third of Lyon's budget.

Essien will likely now arrive in London on Wednesday or Thursday for his medical.

Bernard Lacombe, a Lyon representative, describes playing in England as Essien's "dream". Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas characterizes the loss of Essien as "a wrench but for the club this is a good deal".