Lyon coach Gerard Houllier has suggested that midfielder Michael Essien could stay at the club for another year – and join Chelsea next summer.

“It’s not impossible that the transfer of Michael will remains blocked for next year,” Houllier told L’Equipe.

“This is a solution that would suit everyone. Michael is only 22 and can still progress a lot in a club where his managers, coaches and supporters like him a lot.”

Lyon have rejected two bids from Chelsea for Ghanaian international Essien and are determined to hold on to their key midfielder as they prepare for another Champions League campaign.