Lyon plan swap deals
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lyon could allow Michael Essien to join Chelsea if they get Didier Drogba.Lyon could be willing to allow Michael Essien to join Chelsea if they get Didier Drogba in return, while they could use Sidney Govou to get Milan Baros.
New Lyon boss Gerard Houllier has expressed his desire to keep Essien with the French champions, but they know that the lure of Chelsea may turn the African's head.
The last thing Lyon want is for such an influential player to be unsettled during the season, so they may decide to cash in during the summer.
Jose Mourinho seems determined to get Essien, so Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas may test their desire by agreeing to let Essien leave - but only if Drogba moves in the opposite direction.
The Ivory Coast marksman admitted he was not happy with his own form in his first season at Chelsea, and was suffering with homesickness, and Lyon would take the blow of losing Essien if they could bring Drogba into the side.
Houllier has also revealed his liking of Baros, and would love to reacquaint himself with the Czech Republic man.
Lyon are looking for another swap deal as they will offer Govou to Rafa Benitez instead of offering é¼13 million for his services.
The Reds have been linked with Govou before and he is the one player that Lyon have already admitted will leave the club in the summer.
Baros has had a mixed relationship with Benitez but with The Reds now having to start their defence of the UEFA Champions League in mid-July, Liverpool may opt to keep hold of as many top players as they can.