English Premiership

Drogba's China talks on track

2012-05-23 14:29
Didier Drogba (File)

Shanghai - Shanghai Shenhua's talks with Didier Drogba are continuing "just as planned", a report said on Wednesday, raising expectations the striker will move to China after announcing his departure from Chelsea.

Shenhua, bankrolled by colourful video-game mogul Zhu Jun, signed Drogba's ex-Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka in December and they have been in talks with the Ivory Coast international since at least January.

"As of now, Shenhua's negotiations with Drogba are continuing just as planned," Zhu told the Oriental Sports Daily.

Drogba, 34, revealed he was quitting English Premiership giants Chelsea on Tuesday, just days after his match-winning performance in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Drogba scored a late equaliser as well as the decisive spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out. Since joining Chelsea from Marseille in 2004, he has tallied 157 goals in 341 appearances, helping the club win 10 trophies.

"It has been a very difficult decision for me to make and I am very proud of what we have achieved, but the time is right for a new challenge for me," he told Chelsea's website.

Drogba would be the latest star signing for China's increasingly big-spending Super League, after Soccer World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi joined Guangzhou Evergrande last week.

But Anelka's move has not been without its problems. Last week he threatened to quit Shenhua over the club's plans to hire a new head coach, according to local media.

"If there is still no one to support me and (they) continue to play little tricks behind my back... then I will quickly decide whether or not to retire," the Frenchman told the Xinmin Evening News.

Club owner Zhu has written to Anelka's agent and lawyer asking for an explanation, the Oriental Sports Daily said.

In April, Shenhua sacked French coach Jean Tigana, then the highest profile manager to work in China, after just a handful of games and replaced him with a makeshift set-up including Anelka as player-coach.

They are now tipped to be targeting Sergio Daniel Batista, who led Argentina to Olympic gold in 2008, as their new manager.

Drogba is one of the Premier League's most successful strikers and he departs Chelsea as their fourth all-time highest scorer. His 34 goals in European competition is a club record by 10 goals.

During his eight seasons at Stamford Bridge he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, and the Champions League title.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Maritzburg floor Ajax

2014-04-18 20:41

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.