By Patrick Akoto
Michael Essien has turned down an offer to play at the 2013 African Cup of Nations, reports in the local media have claimed.
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah was hoping to convince the 29-year-old to join his team for the continental showpiece in South Africa.
But the Real Madrid loanee has informed authorities he will not be available to feature for the team in the Nations Cup as he continues his recovery to rediscover his lost form.
Essien wants to repay the confidence reposed in him by the Spanish giants after they gave him a lifeline following his lack of first team action at Chelsea.
The news will be a massive blow to many Ghanaian soccer fans who have been craving for the former Lyon star to play at the international level once again.
Essien has however declared himself available for the 2014 World cup qualifiers which resumes in March next year.
He scored his debut Los Blancos goal in their 4-0 trouncing of Real Zaragoza on Saturday.