Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has completed his move to AC Milan, joining the Serie A giants on a permanent transfer.
The Ghana international leaves Stamford Bridge after eight and a half years with the Blues, where he won two Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, four FA Cups and one League Cup.
“To show Michael respect is to not stop him going,” said Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to the official club website.
“We would have been happy had he stayed because he is fantastic player for the team, but he’s given everything for the club and a great chance arrived for his future.
“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.”
Essien made 256 appearances for Chelsea, with 33 coming as a substitute. He scored 25 goals for the Blues – many of which were vitally important, such as his long range strike against FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League in 2009.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 27, 2014