Michael Essien has reportedly informed the Ghanaian national team that he intends to reject any call-up to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The 29-year-old is currently on a one-year loan deal at Real Madrid from Chelsea and is understood by the Press in Ghana to be prioritising his work in Spain over representing the Black Stars in South Africa this coming winter.
If he otherwise accepted an expected call-up to the Ghana squad and they were to progress to the knockout stages, Essien could be unavailable for Real Madrid for a month, with the tournament scheduled from January 19 through to February 10.
The midfielder, who has represented his country on 52 occasions since debuting in 2002, has reportedly informed Ghanaian officials of his intention to skip the tournament in order to rediscover his form and then return to international contention by March, for when the 2014 World Cup qualifiers resume.
Essien has previously withdrawn his availability for international selection during his career.