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Chelsea legend Michael Essien has revealed he almost joined Premier League rivals Liverpool.
According to Essien, he had even visited Melwood, Liverpool’s training complex, to hold talks with Gerard Houllier – but turned down the move and later joined Chelsea in 2005.
Essien spent nine successful years at Stamford Bridge, winning the Champions League, two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a League Cup before leaving in 2014.
“I had lot of offers [when I was at Bastia]. I was close to signing for Liverpool when Gerard Houllier was their coach,” Essien said.
“I even went to Melwood to meet the coach. We had a talk and I returned to France but the offers were still coming. PSG, Olympique Marseille et al, but I told Bastia I didn’t want to move and they also didn’t want to sell me at that time because they wanted me to stay for another year which was fine with me because I also didn’t want to leave the club.
“So I stayed for another season, that’s my third year with the club.
“Lyon joined the three aforementioned clubs to enquire about me but I thought it was too early to move to England. That was why I joined Lyon and later moved to Chelsea under Mourinho [in 2005].
“Lyon were my favourite team when I went to France because they were winning everything. I told my agent that if Lyon have come into the picture I’d like to join them.”