Essien signs new Chelsea deal

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has signed a new five-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

The Ghana international, currently in China on the club's pre-season tour, is therefore contracted to the club until 2013.

Essien's commitment follows yesterday's confirmation that goalkeeper Petr Cech had signed a new five-year deal.

Essien, who signed from Lyon for around £24million in 2005, said: "I am really pleased to have extended my contract with Chelsea.

"I am very happy here. We have a great team and fantastic fans who have always made me welcome.

"With the addition of the new manager (Luiz Felipe Scolari), I am feeling very positive about the season ahead."

Scolari, who took over from Avram Grant recently, was pleased to tie Essien down amid continued speculation about the future of fellow midfielder Frank Lampard.

"I have not been here long but it is clear to me that Michael Essien is one of the best midfield players in the world," he said.

"I have always admired him and it is good news for me and for Chelsea that he signs for so long."

Left-back Wayne Bridge also signed a new deal earlier this week.

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