Much has been made over the future of Didier Drogba at Chelsea in recent months.
The Ivorian international striker was linked with a return to former club Marseille during the summer transfer window, and speculation has continued to surround the 33-year-old with only a year left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge.
Andre Villas-Boas has stressed that he wants to keep the player in west London though, and Drogba has also now admitted that he hopes to stay with the club he joined in 2004.
"Talks have started. Everyone knows what I want. I am not afraid of the competition. I always had to face it here with Gudjohnsen and then Shevchenko," he told French publication L'Equipe.
His comments are in reference to Fernando Torres, who arrived at Chelsea in January 2011 for a £50 million fee. And, whilst the Spaniard hardly hit the ground running under Carlo Ancelotti, his performances have noticeably improved under the stewardship of Villas-Boas.
In a favoured 4-3-3 formation, there is only room for one out-and-out striker, with 'El Nino' currently holding his place as first choice when all players are available. Romelu Lukaku, Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge are also vying for places, although the trio are much more suited to playing wide in comparison with Drogba.
And, whilst the role may not be one that appeals automatically, the potential to be one of the best impact substitutes in the division may be his only chance to make a significant impact for the club.
His pace, power and experience makes Drogba an ideal introduction in the second-half of matches, either as a direct replacement for the striker or if AVB needs to change the formation and go more direct in a 4-4-2 system.
The potential of this was shown in the Champions League last season, when the Ivorian's introduction at Manchester United helped spark a mini-revival before the Blues ultimately fell to defeat at Old Trafford.
A red card at QPR, and an operation to remove screws for his arm following an injury prior to the 2010 World Cup, means the striker has time to think about his role and future at Chelsea.
With three Barclays Premier League titles, three FA Cup winners medals and two League Cup trophies in the bag during his time in the capital, Blues fans will hope he's committed to adding to that collection, albeit in a reduced role.
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