Australian side Melbourne Victory’s audacious bid to sign Ghana star Michael Essien has fallen through, the club has announced.
Victory had all but agreed to personal terms with Essien after Football Federation Australia last week agreed to support the A-League club’s bid to sign the 33-year-old under the competition’s new guest marquee rule.
Chief Executive of the federation David Gallop reckoned his arrival will boost the reputation of the league.
"The number one on the wish list was Tim but a player like Essien can add to the halo around Tim in a way because it's another big global player that football fans will be excited about." But despite the Blues enjoying positive talks, Essien performed a U-turn, informing the club he would not take up a deal that would have netted him in the realm of $1m for the upcoming season.
Legal implications stemming from that breakup — where fees owing to Essien were not paid for some time — complicated his negotiations with Victory.
“As it stands, Michael Essien won’t be joining Melbourne Victory as a guest marquee in the 2016/17 season,” a club spokesman told the Herald Sun on Thursday
“The club has been in constant discussions with Michael and his representatives, but due to some personal issues, Michael has unfortunately decided not to move to Melbourne.”
The former Chelsea midfielder is not contracted to any club after terminating his contract with Greece outfit Panathinaikos recently. Essien signed a two year contract with the Greens but decided to part company after only a year.
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