Michael Essien will not be leaving Lyon, despite interest from Europe's top clubs, the French side's president has insisted.
Essien was an integral part of the Lyon side that claimed their fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title last season, but the departure of coach Paul Le Guen sparked rumours that several top players could follow him out of the club.
However with former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier now at the helm, Lyon have started to prepare for another season of success, and president Jean-Michel Aulas claims that Essien, along with stars Juninho and Mahamadou Diarra, will not be sold this summer.
"I have always said that Essien and Diarra would stay," said Aulas.
"There were a lot of frustrating rumours for me. I confirm today that they (Essien and Diarra) will stay, as well as Juninho.
"Having all of them in our team makes it stronger than before.
"The best recruitment starts by keeping the team's best players, and that's what we've done."
Essien has been strongly linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal while Diarra has attracted reported interest from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
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