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Jose: No drama if Essien stays

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28 July 2005 | ©

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants to resolve the Michael Essien transfer saga as soon as possible - regardless of whether the midfielder arrives at Stamford Bridge.

Essien has been linked with a move from French side Lyon to the Premiership champions but no deal has yet been agreed.

Mourinho, who already has a large squad at his disposal, believes it would not be a "drama" if he misses out on the Ghanaian international.

"I hope we are sure about that soon - he comes or he doesn't come," said the Blues boss.

"He comes, great. If he doesn't come it's not a drama. But I need to know. One more option, a great option. But one more."

The Portuguese tactician has signed Asier del Horno from Athletic Bilbao and Hernan Crespo is back at the club after a spell at AC Milan - but Essien would strengthen the midfield.

Scott Parker has left for Newcastle and Alexei Smertin is at Charlton for a year, with the two fringe players leaving Mourinho short of depth in midfield.

"You look to our defensive line we didn't lose one single player and we have in Del Horno a great solution," he added on the club's official website.

"Look to our attacking line and we lose Kezman but he didn't play too much. Look to our (central) midfield and it's the only area where Scott Parker went to Newcastle and Alexei Smertin went to Charlton, and we have just (Lassana) Diarra, a young boy.

"So it's our only area where we didn't strengthen the team. If we get a good player like Essien we can say every area improved. If we don't we still have good options."

Meanwhile, Diarra is set to feature against DC United in a pre-season friendly as Chelsea continue their tour of the United States.

The midfielder joined earlier this month from Le Havre after impressing in a trial and the Toulon Under-20 tournament for France.

"(Scout) Gwyn Williams saw him playing in the Toulon tournament and said we must try him, so we spoke to Le Havre and they let him come for a week and he could be a solution in the future when Maka (Claude Makelele) is coming to the end," Mourinho added.

"He has an open mind, he is willing to learn, he is willing to work."

Diarra himself said: "I want to work, to improve. Maka is a great player who I am already learning a lot from."

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