The Rossoneri look set to lose the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Ambrosini and Andrea Pirlo at the end of the season, with the trio not expected to be offered new deals.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri is thought to view Essien as an ideal replacement to help him replenish his midfielder and the Italian giants are reportedly ready to make an offer for the 28-year-old.
Having struggled with injuries over the last two seasons Chelsea might be keen to cash in on Essien, especially with Josh McEachran expected to have a bright future at Stamford Bridge.
Northampton striker Kevin van Veen is hoping to make his first start in over a month in the home game against Shrewsbury.
Derby's decision to postpone Sunday's home Sky Bet Championship game against Cardiff was made independently, Derbyshire Police have confirmed.
Rochdale have no new injury worries ahead of Tuesday's Sky Bet League One relegation battle with fellow strugglers Fleetwood.