Chelsea are willing to offer Michael Essien a substantial pay off to convince him to move to Serie A club AC Milan, according to reports.
The former Lyon midfielder was a star during Jose Mourinho’s first tenure at the club and during his pomp he was probably the best box-to-box player in Europe, but a number of serious injuries saw his career stumble and almost come to a halt.
Essien spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, where he enjoyed some sort of regular football but the performances could hardly be described as impressive and he was voted in Marca’s worst XI of the season.
The 31-year-old has been given permission to leave the club and had refused to move to AC Milan previously as it would mean taking a cut in wages despite the fact that he features rarely for Chelsea, which isn’t uncommon at Stamford Bridge as we’ve had a few players that are more than happy to sit on the bench and pick up wages in the past.
However, it seems as though Mourinho would prefer to get a high earner like Essien off the wage bill – especially if he isn’t contributing – which could see Chelsea subsidising his wages to move to the San Siro.
Chelsea have often been guilty of failing to trim the fat in the past and have even gotten themselves into some quite ridiculous situations, like the case of Florent Malouda, when it comes to keeping high earners at the club beyond the point that they no longer live up to their wages.
If Essien does leave this January he could be the third to exit after Kevin De Bruyne and Juan Mata.