Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien seeking January move - agent

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Michael Essien could be on his way out of Chelsea in the new year, according to his agent.

The Ghanian international joined the Blues in 2005, but having spent last season on loan at Real Madrid is well down the pecking order in west London.

The Chelsea star's agent Fabian Piveteau has revealed that a number of 'major European clubs' are chasing the 31-year-old, who is targeting a move to a club still in the Champions League because of his availability to play in the competition following his omission from Chelsea's squad list.

“Several major European clubs playing in the Champions League were informed and the situation should settle down within the next 10 days,” he told French radio station RMC.

"You should know that Michael was not on the list of players who can play in the Champions League with Chelsea, so he is free to play in the competition with another club."

Essien has made just three Premier League appearances this season and has been an unused substitute eleven times.

Previous reports have linked the Chelsea midfielder with a move to Ligue 1 outfit Bastia, however Piveteau insists he will only be joining one of Europe's big boys.

“A come-back at Bastia? We must stop with this,” he continued. “Michael plays at Chelsea, a big club. In Ligue 1 he could play only at Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon ... But Bastia, FC Sochaux – without disrespect, no. For them to support the salary of a Chelsea player, it is already impossible."

Chelsea moved to within striking distance of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table following their hard-fought 2-1 win over Liverpool yesterday.

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