From the Guardian’s Paul Doyle :

The Michael Essien-to-Chelsea transfer saga has been more hideously drawn out than a traitor on a medieval rack, but the Fiver was hoping it would stretch on even longer. For, having seen Essien unsuccessfully go on strike to get a move from Lyon, we’d been confidently predicting he would take his protest to the next logical step: erecting flaming road-blocks outside the Stade Gerland and throwing in his lot with those narky French farmers. Alas, word reaches us today that, just a week after insisting he would never cave in, Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has … caved in.

“We can see that Michael is desperate … we’re in a spiral that’s not easy to handle … we’re going to let him go against our will,” grimaced Ironwill Aulas, before adding that the fee for France’s 2004-05 player of the season will – provided he passes a medical at Stamford Bridge later today – be £28.1m, just £4m less than Aulas vowed to hold out for.