The Ghanaian was expected to play a major role after the return of Jose Mourinho, the man who originally signed him and then loaned him in at Real Madrid, and that now looks like it could very well be the case.
Essien, one of the veterans of the Mourinho side that dominated English football, has suffered with severe injuries in recent years and his contract at Stamford Bridge expires in 2015.
And with that in mind it seems Chelsea are willing to let him move on, or at least that is according to reports in France Football.
They think Essien, who signed for Chelsea for a massive £24.4 million from Lyon in 2005, could be set to return to Ligue 1 and French football.
In fact they feel he could be set to return to his former club - but we do not mean Lyon.
They report that Essien could be willing to join his first club in European football, SC Bastia, with a deal potentially going through as early as January.
Essien is no longer retired from international duty with The Black Stars, so would not be compelled to deny a move away in search of more regular football. With the World Cup approaching and the Ghanaian team highly competitive he needs as much first-team football he can get to book a flight to Brazil.
Bastia snapped up Essien from Ghanaian outfit Liberty Professionals in 2000 and he went on to be a star for the Corsican club. They are now one of Ligue 1’s more ambitious sides - with the likes of Milos Krasic, Mickael Landreau and Ryan Boudebouz all at the club - while Nigerian hero Sunday Mba joins in January.
A player of Essien’s class is just what they need to get things on track and fight for a European berth - something that remains a real possibility.
It is not yet known how much this interest is factual or indeed conjecture - but if it is the former, he will be hard pushed to turn a move down to the team who gave him his first chance on the continent.
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