Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has turned down offers to return to the Premier league in a bid to seal a move to MLS, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
Essien, 32, joined AC Milan from Chelsea on a free transfer last winter, but has since struggle to break into the club’s line-up, making just five starts in nine appearances for a total of 456 minutes.
With his contract set to expire in the summer, Milan are understood to be keen to offload the Ghana international in the coming weeks, and a recent report from Sportsmediaset.it has claimed of interest from West Bromwich Albion.
Gazetta add that both Burnley and Leicester have also made approaches this month, but Essien is reportedly set on a stateside switch, with FC Dallas understood to have made initial contacts over a potential move.
MLS has been mooted as a potential destination for several months in fact, with Tuttomercatoweb.com naming the Columbus Crew, Portland Timbers and Toronto FC as possible suitors back in November.
None of those three would be viable contenders now, but it’s worth noting that one of Essien’s representatives is the son of Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo, suggesting there could well be something to the rumours.
Once considered one of the most dominant midfielders in the game during his time at Chelsea, Essien has been in clear decline since damaging his anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in 2011, and it’s debatable whether a return to the Premier League would have been well-advised given his recent struggles in Serie A.
Dallas could well still get something out of him were the proposed deal to materialise, but it remains to be seen what kind of wage package the ex-Blues star would be after.