Didier Drogba has spoken for the first time about his move to Galatasaray, saying he couldn’t turn down the chance to play Champions League football again.

The former Chelsea forward has agreed an 18-month deal to join the Turkish club from Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua, who he joined in May after eight years at Stamford Bridge.

Galatasaray take on Schalke in the last 16 of the Champions League next month.

Drogba, who is currently on international duty with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, said: “The opportunity to play for this great club was an offer that I could not turn down.

“I am looking forward to playing in the Champions League again, against the best clubs in Europe.”

Drogba’s 18-month deal with the Istanbul-based club is reportedly worth £8.5 million.

The former Marseille forward’s time in the Far East has been dogged by rumours of unpaid wages and discontent, and the Sun claim Chelsea offered him a move back to Stamford Bridge before he opted for a move to Turkey instead.

Galatasaray chairman Unal Aysal added: “The negotiations had been going on for a couple of days.

“This morning we did the last negotiation and this evening we have done the deal.

“I talked to Drogba on the phone and he is so glad to join a big team like Galatasaray.”

Juventus had been previously linked with a move for the 34-year-old, but the Italian champions now appear set to sign Drogba’s former Chelsea colleague, Nicolas Anelka.

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