Marcello Lippi has denied making a move to sign ex-Chelsea star Didier Drogba from Shanghai Shenhua.
The Guangzhou Evergrande boss was linked the Ivorian international yesterday, amidst reports that the 34-year-old’s time at the Hongkou Football Stadium could be coming to an end after just ten league games.
However, the speculated financial problems in Shanghai – where Drogba and former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka are reportedly paid in excess of $300,000 a week – do not mean that Lippi will look capitalise.
"I know nothing about Didier Drogba's move. I have never contacted him myself or via anybody since I took charge of Guangzhou," the veteran Italian manager told The China Daily, according to ESPN.
Drogba has scored eight times for the Chinese Super League outfit this term, making an instant impact following a free transfer from Stamford Bridge in the summer. His last act as a Chelsea player was to win the Champions League for Roberto Di Matteo via a penalty shootout against Bayern Munich.
Despite signing a two-and-a-half year deal in the Far East, all does not seem rosy in Shanghai, with an equity dispute amongst shareholders threatening to break up Sergio Batista’s side.
And, with a reported training ground protest due to unpaid wages on Monday, a Shanghai Shenhua exit now appears to be a very realistic possibility. The only issue for the former Chelsea star, is who can afford is high wages?