Chelsea latest: Midfielder exit, H2H with United over £22m target, Thorgan magic

Essien Training

All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge, including a head-to-head with Manchester United over Southampton star.

Despite Manchester United's £37.1m confirmed acquisition of Juan Mata, who will be entrusted with the number eight shirt at Old Trafford, it is Chelsea who continue to attract transfer headlines due to their unrivaled activity in the mid-season window.

As well as signing off on the mega-sale of Mata, Chelsea's coffers have been further bolstered by the profitable departure of Kevin de Bruyne to Wolfsburg, while Nemanja Matic - a former Blue who joined Benfica - has returned to the club in a £22m deal.

Jose Mourinho, though, has not stopped there as Michael Essien, 31, has joined AC Milan on a free transfer.

While Essien's contributions whilst in a Chelsea shirt deserve plaudits (four FA Cups, two-time Premier League winner and a Champions League titlist), he is past his sell-by date by at least two to three years - a point recognised by Mourinho himself as the Ghana international - make no mistake, football royalty - was not included in the club's Champions League roster.

'He's given everything for the club and a great chance arrived for his future,' said Mourinho in a statement on the club's official website. 'I know he can continue to play at a high level and I wish him success and happiness in Italy and at the World Cup in Brazil.'

Even though there may seem to be apparent niceties existing between United and Chelsea currently, that may not last long as The Mirror claim they could go head-to-head over Luke Shaw's signature at Southampton.

While both clubs may pursue Shaw, neither will get very far, according to Mauricio Pochettino, Saints boss, who said: 'Southampton has no interest in selling him, not at this moment or in the summer,'  in Four Four Two.

And finally, Eden Hazard, who has vowed to replicate the form achieved by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, has a talented brother, Thorgan, who pulled off an eyebrow-raising piece of skill whilst on loan at Zulte-Waregem, playing against OH Leuven.

image: © Live4Soccer(L4S)

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