By Patrick Akoto
Turkish giants Galatasaray are likely to win the race to sign out-out-favour Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien due to Champions League football, GHANAsoccernet.com understands.
The Ghanaian international is set to exit Stamford Bridge after failing to hold down a regular position in the team this term.
Essien could be tempted to join former Ivorian team-mate Didier Drogba at the Turkish side as he will be eligible to play in the Champions League last 16 tie against Chelsea having not been used by the Blues.
Essien, 31, was a key feature in the Bluesâ€™ title-winning sides in 2006 and 2010 but a succession of injuries in recent years has hampered his progress, and the Ghanaian spent last season on loan at Real Madrid.
Despite returning to Stamford Bridge with Jose Mourinho in the summer, Â Essien has made just nine appearances this term, looking a shadow of his former self.
The 31-year-oldâ€™s bit-part role has led to speculation over his future, with reports linking him with a move to AC Milan in this monthâ€™s transfer window.
Mourinho has already dismissed the idea of sending Essien out on loan, but the Blues appear to have catered for his departure with the re-signing of Nemanja Matic from Benfica last week.