Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lyon Try to Force Mourniho's Hand

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lyon Try to Force Mourniho's Hand

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT HUGHES

LYON today tried to increase the pressure on Chelsea over Michael Essien by claiming Arsenal and Manchester United have renewed their interest in the Ghanaian midfielder.

The club's president, Jean-Michel Aulas, concedes the French champions are likely to lose their star player to Chelsea but seems determined to extract the best possible price.

Standard Sport understands there is no fresh interest from Highbury while United sources were equally bemused by Aulas's claims.

In a statement on Lyon's website, Aulas said: "It's annoying to lose one of the best players in Europe but he has not gone yet.

We could find a compromise to ensure he does not move until next year.

Chelsea will have to be very persuasive for us to allow him to leave.

Manchester (United) are after him as well.

"This Essien story does not weary me. I have more resistance than some people have imagined.

The more Chelsea will wait, the Mourinho's

more they will be put in difficulty, not just compared to Lyon, but also compared to another English club [Arsenal] which has just lost a defensive midfielder [Patrick Vieira]. …

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