Chelsea have been told that Lyon midfielder Mickael Essien will cost the Premiership champions a fee similar to what they paid for Didier Drogba last summer.
Lyon claim to have rejected a bid worth ?16.75million for Essien and the French club's chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas, argues that the Ghanaian is worth 'much, much more'.
Drogba cost Chelsea a reported club-record fee of ?24million when he arrived from Marseille last summer.
Essien, 22, has been a valuable asset for the four-time back-to-back French champions since he joined from Bastia two seasons ago.
'Chelsea, who are the only club openly interested in Essien, are putting quite strong pressure on us but we are going to do all we can to keep him,' Aulas told Lyon's official website.
'He is a jewel and one of the best players in Europe. That's why Chelsea are so interested in him but they must put a price that is worth the best European players.
'But ?20million (?13.4million)? ?25million (?16.75million)? Of course not. We have already refused ?25million. Essien is worth much, much more.
'I saw that Chelsea had made interesting offers to other players, who are playing with teams on an equal level with Lyon.
'For now Mickael stays with us, his heart is with Lyon, he wants to stay and we hope he will be with us next season.'
Send your news stories to and features to . Chat with us via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625.