Adu antics offer light relief from Essien row

Following the rejection of a bid of more than £20m, the Lyon chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas, has agreed to meet Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to discuss Essien, the French club said in a statement yesterday.

"Jean-Michel Aulas agreed in principle to have a meeting with Roman Abramovich some time early next week in the south of France," the club said. "But Lyon want to express their concerns about the repeated attempts from Chelsea to gain by every means the agreement of Michael Essien."

The statement continued: "The club received a new offer from Chelsea. Even if the gap between Olympique Lyon's claim [they want £32m for the player] and Chelsea's offer has been narrowed, the two sides still have to set up a deal."

Essien did not play in Wednesday's 4-1 victory over Auxerre in the Trophy of Champions. It is still uncertain whether he will play in the opening Ligue 1 match of the season tomorrow at promoted Le Mans.

In the US, Chelsea were expecting a tough test on their pre-season tour with two matches against Milan, but it is the 16-year-old Adu who has given them most food for thought so far.

Adu is one of the biggest names in US soccer, having already made his mark at the Major League side DC United and it was his trickery which made Chelsea look sluggish, even though Jose Mourinho's side managed to pinch a 2-1 victory on Thursday night.

Chelsea have been linked with a move for Adu, who has already been compared to Pele, since he was 14 and it was no coincidence that Mourinho found time to have a chat with the teenage prodigy before start of the match .

If he wasn't aware of what excitement Adu brings to a side before the game, he certainly did after as the majority of the 31,473 crowd screamed at his team-mates to give the ball to the forward at every opportunity.

In one dazzling dribble, Chelsea's new signing Lassana Diarra was left not knowing which way to turn as Adu went through his array of tricks. The American fans cheered him like he had just scored, but they will not be so happy to hear that he is already eyeing a move to Stamford Bridge.

He said: "I definitely want to play for Chelsea one day. They're my favourite club in England. I spoke to Mourinho before the game, we were just having fun and he congratulated me on the goal I scored last week.

"He knew a lot about me already. Playing in the Premiership is a goal for me. I think I can achieve it if I keep working hard and keep my head on straight. When I am 18 I start exercising my options and I hope I get a call from a big club."

Joe Cole, who only played the first half for Chelsea, knows all about having to cope with the hype that comes with having great talent as a teenager. The England man watched Adu from the sidelines and was in no doubt that he could make the grade at Chelsea.

He added: "I thought Freddy did really well against us. He showed some nice touches. It's difficult to have a lot of pressure on young shoulders which I know all about but you just have to deal with it.

"He would be good at Chelsea. He's the sort of player who will be coveted all over the world because he's a talent and all the good players are linked with Chelsea."

Mourinho was not a happy man despite getting the chance to see Adu in action as DC United were quicker to the ball and took the lead when Bobby Boswell was allowed to climb unchallenged to head the ball past Petr Cech after 31 minutes. But their joy was short-lived as Shaun Wright-Phillips crossed for Damien Duff to volley home four minutes later and Hernan Crespo scored the winner, his first for Chelsea since returning from a season-long loan at Milan.

His striking rival Didier Drogba claims he is not feeling the pressure of losing his place despite Crespo's promising start. He said: "It's not a problem for me. It's good for my team-mates and for me to improve my game. We can play up front together and we are working like that in training.

"What more do I have to prove? We won the championship, I scored in the Carling Cup Final, I scored important goals, what do people want from me?"

Wayne Bridge also made his first appearance since he suffered a double fracture in his ankle at Newcastle over five months ago.

News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Sport
footballLive: All the latest from today's Premier League matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee