Chelsea to block duo's departure

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Didier Drogba and Michael Essien will not be allowed to leave Chelsea this summer, according to manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The African pair have been strongly linked with moves to Marseille and Real Madrid respectively this summer after a trophy-less season in west-London.

But Chelsea's new man at the helm has denied either player will leave.

"I'm more than happy with the squad," he said.

"It's nothing new that when a manager comes changes are expected. But bearing in mind the success the club has had in the last six or seven years, we have to adjust things carefully and make wise decisions.


"We have top quality players and I want them back as soon as possible.

"I'm counting on everyone coming in from last year and then we will make decisions. We have plenty of time in the market."

Earlier in the week, Marseille, Drogba's former club, said a deal could be possible.

Vincent Labrune said: "The question would be whether in terms of salary – not a transfer fee – Marseille have the means to pay Didier Drogba for four years and the answer is 'yes'," he said.

"Though only if we had some departures [from the squad]."

With Villas-Boas now the new manger at Chelsea, whole-sale changes are expected.

Reports emerged earlier in the week that Florent Malouda was expected to lead the exodus this summer, with Nicolas Anelka and Drogba, who has also been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, expected to follow him.

The new Portuguese boss is expected to make striker Falcao, who scored 17 goals in the Europa League last season, his signing as Chelsea boss.

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