Posted: Mon January 27, 2014 11:52AM; Updated: Mon January 27, 2014 11:52AM

Michael Essien bolts Chelsea for AC Milan

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
Michael Essien, Jozy Altidore
MIdfielder Michael Essien, right (tackling American Jozy Altidore), has left Chelsea for AC Milan after more than eight years with the London club.
Scott Heppell/AP

LONDON (AP) - Chelsea says Michael Essien has left the club to join AC Milan, ending the Ghana midfielder's 8 1/2-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League team made the announcement on Monday without disclosing any financial or contract details.

At one time one of the world's top midfielders, the 31-year-old Essien has lost his first-team place in recent years and spent last season on loan at Real Madrid.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says ''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.''

Essien made 256 appearances for Chelsea after joining from Lyon in 2005.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Videos
Videos from the Web
 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs Chris Johnson Jameis Winston NFL Draft Michael Sam Aldon Smith
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint