Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has called on team-mate Didier Drogba to follow his lead and sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge.
The Ghanaian international agreed a new five-year deal yesterday as the Blues prepare for their opening preseason match in China this morning. He follows goalkeeper Petr Cech and left-back Wayne Bridge in penning long-term deals, now Essien wants striker Drogba to end speculation on his future and commit himself to the club.
“Hopefully things will work out for Didier because we need him to stay,” Essien said. “If he can make up his mind it will be good for us. He knows what he wants so it is up to him.”
Essien, 25, has been a huge hit at Stamford Bridge since his £24.4m signing from Lyon in 2005, and is determined to fight for his first-team place in centre midfield against the likes of Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and new signing Deco.
“I am really pleased to sign a new contract with Chelsea,” Essien added ahead of the clash with Super League side Guangzhou Pharmaceutical. “I came here to stay longer, I like the team and I love the fans and I think we have got a great squad. I did not consider any other options, I love playing for Chelsea.”
Meanwhile, Blues chief executive Peter Kenyon has revealed Robinho would be the club’s last signing of the summer if they can snap up the Brazilian star. Kenyon confirmed the club’s interest in the Real Madrid star on Monday, although the 24-year-old insists he wants to stay at the Bernabeu.
But Kenyon added yesterday: “We have had several conversations with Madrid and he is a player we think would add a great deal to Chelsea.
“I think the coach was just looking for one more to complete what he thinks is the perfect squad.” Chelsea deny claims from Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o, however, that they have made a bid for the Cameroon international. A club spokesman said: “We deny making a bid or any offer for Eto’o.”