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Lyon have told Chelsea they must increase their bid for Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien if they want to sign him.

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has admitted that Chelsea are desperate to sign the 22-year-old this summer, but they have already rebuffed a £16.75m bid from the Premier League champions.

“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,” he said.

“We have refused a bid of £16.75m as Essien is worth much, much more.

“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 in a price that is worth the best European players.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o has revealed that he turned down an approach from Chelsea.

“I had an offer from Chelsea but I was always clear I wanted to stay at Barca,” said Eto’o

“The most important thing is not money. My wife put her foot down over the idea of going to a city like London and I have to respect her for that.”

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