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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Essien: Mourinho like a father

Michael Essien says he is thrilled to reunite with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and has not ruled out a permanent move to the Spanish capital.

Essien sealed a season-long loan deal with the reigning La Liga champions on deadline day following a call from Mourinho. The midfielder, who was brought to Chelsea by Mourinho in 2005, did not hesitate to take up the offer.

"Everything happened so fast," Essien said. "I was in the hotel when Mourinho called and said that he was ready to take me. Mourinho's call was more than enough to convince me to come here. I just wanted to play football. He call me and I said yes.

"I see him as a father because he was the one who took me to Chelsea. I know him very well and I love him too - we have a very good relationship, we understand each other."

After reflecting on his shift to the Santiago Bernabeu, Essien believes he will fit in with Real Madrid's squad and has not ruled out a long-term move.

"Real Madrid have very good players, but I'm ready to play in any position Mourinho asks me to. I'd be delighted to win titles this way.

"I have had some fitness problems in the past, but I'm strong. If I am not ready for Real Madrid then I would not have signed. I will work hard and at the end of the season we will see what happens [with Chelsea]."

Essien, 29, may feature for Real Madrid this weekend after being named in the squad to face Granada.

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