Drogba turns down Chelsea return approach
Didier Drogba is expected to sign for Turkish side Galatasaray before the close of the transfer window as the Daily Mail reports the former Chelsea striker has rejected the chance to return to Stamford Bridge.
The newspaper claims owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned a move for Drogba, who left the club for Shanghai Shenhua in the summer, on a contract until the end of the season with the possibility of a further year’s extension.
Talks between Drogba and Chelsea were so advanced, the Mail adds, that the Premier League club were convinced the Ivory Coast international would be returning to English football before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
It is suggested by the Mail that the move for Drogba - and the re-signing of full-back Ashley Cole on a one-year contract - is an attempt by the Chelsea hierarchy to placate supporters unhappy at the presence of Rafael Benitez as interim manager and the club’s stuttering form.
Chelsea drew on Sunday with near neighbours Brentford, a League One side, in the FA Cup, having been eliminated from the Capital One Cup last week after losing a two-legged tie to Swansea City. The Blues are also out of the Champions League and face a 11-point gap in the Premier League between themselves in third and table-topping Manchester United.
Drogba’s last act as a Chelsea player was to score the decisive penalty in the Champions League final shootout against Bayern Munich in May, having already netted the late equaliser that took the game into extra-time.
The Mail notes however that despite his summer departure Drogba’s connection to Chelsea remains strong, with his family remaining in the Surrey area, his children attending the Chelsea academy, and Drogba himself training with the club before Christmas to build-up his fitness ahead of the on-going Africa Cup of Nations.
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