Chelsea’s Michael Essien could join Asamoah Gyan at Al Ain

Ghana captain is reportedly mediating a deal to bring his national teammate from English Premier League.

Michael Essien, left, has only two starts this season at Chelsea. Shaun Botterill / Getty Images
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Michael Essien could join his Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan in Al Ain, with reports claiming the club have launched an ambitious bid to lure the Chelsea star, who has decided to leave the London club in this transfer window.

An Al Ain spokesman refused to comment on the possibility of Essien joining the UAE champions, but also did not deny the team’s pursuit.

According to the 24.ae website, Al Ain have entered into “serious negotiations” with the 31-year-old midfielder, who has only two starts this season at Chelsea. The report claims Gyan is mediating on behalf of the club and the deal could be in place this week.

A club spokesman refused to confirm the report on Sunday.

Al Ain are seeking a replacement for midfielder Mirel Radoi, who has been struggling with his form and injuries this season, and has made only seven Arabian Gulf League appearances.

The Romanian injured his leg during the match against Ahli and has been training and playing through the pain, but doctors have advised surgery.

With Essien, who played for Chelsea in their FA Cup third round tie at Derby County on Sunday, looking for a club where he can be assured a starting place ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, Al Ain will be hoping Gyan can convince his Ghana teammate because the player is keen on a move to another top club in Europe.

“He could leave Chelsea this winter,” Essien’s agent Fabian Piveteau said this week. “Several major European clubs playing in the Champions League were informed and the situation should settle down within the next 10 days.”

According to the Ghanasoccernet website, Essien could consider offers from “mega-rich Middle East clubs” if he fails in his bid to move to a top European side.

arizvi@thenational.ae