Real Madrid in Michael Essien discussions

Michael Essien
© PA Photos
Real Madrid are in 'advanced talks' with Chelsea over a season-long loan deal for midfielder Michael Essien.

Talks to take Michael Essien from Chelsea to Real Madrid on a season-long loan are reportedly at an 'advanced stage'.

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo confirmed earlier this evening that Essien is free to leave the European champions on loan.

Arsenal were credited with an interest in the Ghanaian midfielder, who was left out of Chelsea's squad for their Super Cup clash with Atletico Madrid tonight.

Los Blancos manager Jose Mourinho worked with the 29-year-old during his tenure at Stamford Bridge and sees him as an ideal replacement for Anzhi Makhachkala-bound Lassana Diarra, according to Sky Sports News.

Essien joined Chelsea from Lyon for £24m in 2005.

Lassana Diarra
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