Soccer News of Friday, 7 October 2016
Ex-Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien knocked back an offer from A-League club Melbourne Victory due to distance and family, GHANAsoccernet.com understands.
The 33-year-old was hoping to join the Australian side as a marquee player for the 2016-17 season after ending his contract with Greek club Panathinaikos.
But it has emerged that the tyranny of distance proved a step too far, with the Ghana international reluctant to part from his family, with two young children at school in London.
His wife would have remained in London had he made the move to the A-League.
Essien’s wife Akosua Puni kicked against the move having embarked on globetrotting on his European career. She was not interested in a further movement.
The goodwill message from Essien was genuine but appears the love for his family became a stumbling block.
The Ghana midfielder scored 17 goals in 168 matches for Chelsea, playing in their 2009-10 Premier League-winning season, but his time at Panathinaikos was hampered by injury.
Essien has had spells in the Premier League with Chelsea, Spain with Real Madrid and Italy with AC Milan.