The Chelsea legend has revealed how ‘close’ he came to joining Liverpool and why he turned it down.

The Ghana international eventually joined the Premier League club and spent nine years at Stamford Bridge, but speaking about United’s approach, he revealed a move is imminent during a visit to their training ground.

“I had many offers. I tried to sign for Liverpool when Gerard Houllier was their manager. I also went to Melwood to meet my coach. I talked and went back to France, but I still had offers from PSG, Marseille and a few other teams.

“But I said I don’t want to move to Bastia and they don’t want to sell.” At the time they wanted me to stay another year, so I was accepted and that was fine with me.”Essien had only been playing senior football for a few years before Liverpool made a bid, and his decision to turn down a move to Anfield was largely down to a feeling he wasn’t ready.

“I thought it was too soon to move to England. So I went to Lyon and then I moved to Mourinho’s Chelsea. When I was in France, Lyon was my favorite team. Because they won it all. I told my agent that if Lyon would do the pictures I would be happy to do it. “Essien is not the only name the Merseysiders have missed out on over the years.

Former Manchester United players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Edwin van der Sar have said they could move to Anfield during their careers. Premier League top scorer Alan Shearer was also known to be interested in a move to Liverpool and Kylian Mbappe has previously confirmed Liverpool’s views.

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