Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger plots loan move for Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien

Arsenal have made an audacious attempt to sign Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien on loan.

Arsene Wenger wants to add a defensive midfielder to his ranks before Friday's transfer deadline and strides have been taken to recruit the Ghana international on a season-long loan.

Essien is down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and it is understood Roberto Di Matteo would consider letting him leave on loan.

Wenger, who had Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun on loan last season, is looking for extra depth in midfield after the loss of Alex Song to Barcelona for £15m.

And Chelsea could be willing to play ball if the Gunners cover Essien’s £100,000 a week wages.

Essien, in seven years at Chelsea, has made 163 outings and scored 17 goals.