Michael Essien confirms he went to Melwood ahead of Liverpool transfer

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We’ve already heard this morning about Liverpool missing out on Antonio Di Natale, but another name has been dropped into the hat now.

According to Michael Essien, Liverpool nearly signed him when Gerard Houllier was in charge before Rafa Benitez took over in 2004.

Essien eventually joined Chelsea in 2005 and gained a reputation as one of the best midfielders in Europe, winning two titles and four FA Cups – but it could have been very different!

“I had lot of offers,” Essien told the Mail. “I was close to signing for Liverpool when Gerard Houllier was their coach.

“I even went to Melwood to meet the coach. We had a talk and I returned to France but the offers were still coming.

“PSG, Olympique Marseille, but I told Bastia I didn’t want to move and they also didn’t want to sell me at that time because they wanted me to stay for another year which was fine with me because I also didn’t want to leave the club.

‘So I stayed for another season, that’s my third year with the club.

“Lyon joined the three aforementioned clubs to enquire about me but I thought it was too early to move to England.

“That was why I joined Lyon and later moved to Chelsea under Mourinho.”

Essien would have offered our midfield dynamism at the time alongside Steven Gerrard, but Didi Hamann and Xabi Alonso were not bad alternatives!

Interestingly, the Ghanaian still plays – and is currently contracted to Sabail in Azerbaijan, having played in Indonesia, Greece, Italy and Spain since departing west London.

Read more: Who said this, at the weekend…?! “Dortmund are in decent form,” says commentator, ignoring the fact that no one is in any form as they haven’t played for two months!

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