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Chelsea legend Michael Essien is on the verge of joining Melbourne Victory in the A-League in Australia.
According to the Herald Sun, Essien will become the second player to sign under the new Football Federation of Australia (FFA) guest-marquee rule, less than a month out of the start of the season.
The deal is reportedly imminent, with the FFA approving Victory’s application for Essien under the new rule.
Chief Executive Officer of the FFA, David Gallop, confirmed to the Herald Sun that Essien had satisfied the criteria.
“FFA has had an approach from an A-League club in relation to using a portion of the Marquee Guest Fund to bring Michael Essien to the A-League as a Full Season Guest Marquee Player,” he said.
“Michael Essien has had a tremendous domestic and international career, which qualifies him for a position on a Player Roster as a Full Season Guest Marquee Player and we have come to an agreed financial contribution if a club was to come to an agreement.’’
It comes just weeks after the Victory were infamously denied by the FFA to sign Italian international Alesandro Diamanti under the same rule.
The man is known as ‘Bison’, for his incredible athletic prowess and strength on the pitch, has been shopped around to A-League clubs in the past fortnight, and it appears as though the Victory have beaten all to his signature.
Essien made 168 appearances for Chelsea in just under nine years at the club, winning the Premier League twice, the FA Cup four times and the lucrative UEFA Champions League.
The Ghanaian international has also enjoyed spells at AC Milan, Real Madrid and Lyon over a decorated 16-year professional club career.