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Transfer news: West Ham fail with last minute move for Michael Essien as AC Milan loan draws closer

Hammers miss out on Ghana international to AC Milan

West Ham United have failed with a last-ditch attempt to sign Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien as the Ghanaian edges towards a loan move to AC Milan.

The Blues would prefer to sell him and are prepared to give Essien a considerable pay-off to convince him to leave as they look to strengthen in other areas - specifically with the £15m signing of Liverpool target Mohamed Salah.

The 31-year-old has made just five Premier League appearances under Jose Mourinho this season, despite a healthy working relationship between the pair, and he is said to have chosen Milan over East London.

The Ghana international's agent is in talks with representatives at AC over a deal which will strengthen the player's chances of playing a key role during this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

That is something Mourinho has always remained wary of.

"I offer nobody - not Michael, not nobody guaranteed playing time,' the Portuguese said earlier this month.

"I understand that players think about national team, the World Cup and playing regularly, but my players have to think of the team before the players. Michael knows that perfectly."