Chelsea set to sell midfielder Essien to Milan

Michael Essien is now a permanent substitute at Chelsea. Photo: PA

Ghana midfielder Michael Essien is poised to move to AC Milan from Chelsea.

The 31-year-old has found opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge since returning from a loan spell at Real Madrid last season and has permission from Jose Mourinho to leave.

Milan were one of a number of interested parties and on Friday announced Essien is expected in northern Italy later in the evening.

A statement on acmilan.com read: "Michael Essien in expected in the city this evening."

Essien joined Chelsea from Lyon for £24.4million in 2005.

The midfielder suffered from a succession of knee injuries and the signing of Nemanja Matic from Benfica saw Essien slip further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

Essien arrived in Milan on Friday evening.

He told Milan Channel: "I'm happy to be here. I will do my best for Milan and I hope to be ready to play.

"I spoke with Mr (Clarence) Seedorf (the Milan head coach) two days ago. I cannot wait to be available.

"I really want to thank the chairman and the team and thanks to Mourinho, who has allowed me to wear the Rossoneri shirt."