Friday, 24th January, 2014

Chelsea are more than happy to let Michael Essien decide his future, currently linked with AC Milan, with Jose Mourinho already reserving a playing role for him against Stoke City should he stay put.

The Blues take on Stoke this Sunday in the FA Cup fourth round, with Essien's future destination still under some slight doubt.

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Milan are keen to have him, and his agent has found agreement with the Rossoneri. All that remains is for Chelsea to give their assent, in what is a crucial second half of the season for the Ghana World Cup hopeful.

Juan Mata was recently allowed to negotiate a deal with Manchester United after being frustrated at his fringe role, and Mourinho sees no reason why Chelsea wouldn't do the same for Essien.


Mourinho today told a press conference: "He is, at this moment, in a position where he can go or he can stay. If he stays, we're more than happy. He's a fantastic club man and a fantastic team player.

"If he stays, he's playing against Stoke next weekend. We're more than happy if he stays. He's another player that has given everything to this club.

"If a great situation arrives for him, for his future, for the World Cup, and for a few more years of career at a high level.

"The same way that Chelsea let him go to Real Madrid, if something big comes for him, we must show him respect, and not stop him leaving."

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