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Lyon have again told Chelsea they will not accept less than £32m for midfielder Michael Essien.

Club chairman Jean-Michel Aulas told French newspaper L’Equipe: “Forty-five million euros. That’s the figure. We’ll sell Michael for the price of Gerrard.

“They’re going to pay up or my name’s not Aulas.”

Chelsea chairman Peter Kenyon said on Tuesday he was confident of landing Essien.

“Michael Essien is well and truly still an important acquisition for us. We’ve made two offers and had meetings with Lyon,” he said.

“We’ve still got quite a long way to go but I’m hopeful it will come off.

“They don’t want to lose a player of his quality but we want to acquire a player of that quality and Michael has made it quite plain that he would like to join Chelsea and seize that opportunity.

“He sees it as a natural progression for him to move on from being France’s top player.”

Essien also expects to move to Chelsea.

“I think the transfer will be made,” he said.

“I am convinced that I will go to Chelsea but in the meantime I am experiencing difficult times.

“I can’t wait until everything is over. I also spoke with Didier Drogba and he wants me to come.”

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