Essien joins Real Madrid on loan
Chelsea have announced that midfielder Michael Essien, who joined the club in 2005 from Lyon, has joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan.
The tough-tackling Ghanaian links up with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, the man who brought him to Stamford Bridge.
The 29-year-old spent six seasons in west London, winning two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and one Champions League winners' medal.
He, however, fell out of favour at the club in recent seasons, seeing his first-team chances limited by a number of new arrivals.
A brief statement on the club's official website read: "After making his debut as a second-half substitute against Arsenal at the beginning of the 2005/06 season, he went on to play a key role in helping the Blues secure back-to-back titles.
"The Ghanaian scored his first goal for the club during a 2-1 win against Tottenham and won the Goal of the Season for his long-range strike against Arsenal a year later. He followed that up with the same award for his volley against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. In total he has scored 25 goals for Chelsea in 247 appearances."