LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Chelsea footballer Michael Essien attends during day two of the 2012 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 16, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
So, John Cross of the not-super-reliable Daily Mirror, who earlier, you may recall, had dismissed any possibility that Arsenal were looking to bring in Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, seems to have been on the right track. Sky Sports claimed on their transfer clockwatch that Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo had left Michael Essien out of the squad due to a possible loan move, but that "he said Essien could not join Arsenal" [see 2:46 PM EDT on the clock]. So Arsenal's midfield looks as if it will remain Essien-less for the forseeable future.
Cross, for his part, adds an interesting tidbit, if true, that it was never even Arsenal's intent in the first place to go after Essien:
My understanding is that Arsenal were offered Essien - and not the other way round. They politely declined but was never on today's agenda— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) August 31, 2012
Essien is a player that I wouldn't mind in the Arsenal midfield when healthy, but it makes sense that Chelsea would want to avoid loaning him to a close rival, even if it does sound as if he will end up somewhere else than West London this season.