Tiago poised for Lyon switch

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Michael Essien's arrival at Stamford Bridge looks to have put an end to Tiago's stay in West London as the midfielder is in France discussing a move to Lyon.

Champions Chelsea have agreed a fee of ‚é¼10 million (£6.8 million) with their French counterparts, with the player now only having to concur on personal terms before his exit can be confirmed.

Tiago and his agent, Jorge Mendes, are already in Lyon - where the player will undergo a medical and tie up the final details of his contract.

The talented Portugal international proved a useful performer last term for Chelsea, regularly filling in a variety of positions across Jose Mourinho's midfield following a move from Benfica, but it now appears his spell in the capital is drawing to a close.

"All is practically closed and it is the best exit for Tiago as he wants to play more regularly,'' confirmed Mendes.

With the 2006 World Cup on the horizon, Tiago is desperate to play on a regular basis to cement his place in Portugal's squad - aware that Essien's arrival is likely to severely restrict his opportunities at Chelsea.

"If I want to play the World Cup 2006, I need minutes,'' conceded Tiago.

''With the arrival of Essien my situation was complicated and this proposition of Lyon is excellent.

''The option of the Champions League is magnificent.''

It is believed that Tiago will put pen-to-paper on a five-year contract in the next few days.

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