LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Michael Essien of Chelsea warms up during a training session ahead of their UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg match against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on April 17, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Arsenal are in negotiations with Chelsea to arrange a loan move for Blues midfielder Michael Essien, according to reports.
The Ghana international has fallen down the pecking-order at Stamford Bridge in recent years, and it seems the West Londoners are prepared to loan him out as Arsene Wenger seeks midfield reinforcements after the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona. It is not yet known what shape the deal will take, or if there will be an option to sign the player permanently. The move could be the first of several Gunners boss Wenger makes before the deadline closes.
Essien, who is 29 years old, signed for Chelsea for £24m in August 2005, but is no longer seen as a key member of the Blues' squad after a series of injuries - he made just 19 appearances in all competitions last season, with 14 of those coming in the Premier League.