Michael Essien planning to extend Indonesia stay

Former Chelsea star Michael Essien is prepared to extend his stay in the Indonesian league with Persib Bandung.

The former Ghana international is not in a hurry to leave the Far East nation amid suggestions that he could make a return to Europe after becoming a huge hit in Persib.

The 34-year-old linked up with the Indonesian outfit in a bumper one-year contract earlier in March, and following a slow start, he has established himself as a key performer for the club. Former Blues teammate Carlton Cole did not have a similar influence in Persib as he was released midway through the campaign with just two league starts.

Essien's agent Amougou Mathie has now revealed that the Ghanaian would prefer extending his stay in the country as he wants to help the side progress further in the league, he said: "If the contract is extended he is ready. He likes to play with all his strengths, he's never lazy and show a lot of commitment. He still wants to help the team by playing and supporting. The people have been friendly and polite and he has never had a problem with his neighbours. He is closer to Persib players and that important to him."

The veteran joined Persib for an annual wage of just $647000, but he has since signed an endorsement deal worth $500,000 with Adidas to become the face of the German sportswear giants in the Asian country. Apart from this, the midfield enforcer has also endorsed one of the leading startups in the nation after receiving $250,000 for the advertisement.

Essien has contributed three goals in 18 outings for Persib, who are 12 points adrift of leaders Bali United. Despite an early setback to do registration issues, the midfielder looks at home in the Liga 1, which was unveiled as the new top-flight league following a two-year suspension with FIFA.