Drogba close to China switch


Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua claim Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is close to joining them in the January transfer window.

The Ivory Coast international, currently away with his country prior to the African Cup of Nations, has entered the last six-months of his contract at Stamford Bridge, allowing him to openly talk with other club.

After handing in a transfer request last year, former Blue Nicolas Anelka has already made the move to Shenhua, with Drogba expected to follow.

"It's like flirting with a girl. Perhaps she will resist you at first, but if you continue to ask her out, it always ends well. Never give up, owner Zhu Jun said.

Board member Zhou Jun said: "Everything is going well so far though there have been a few obstacles. They never turned us down, which is good for us."

"It’s like making a blockbuster film. When superstars like Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Zhou Xun have confirmed their participation, other actors and actress will be confident of the movie."

Anelka is reported earning £175,000 a week with Shenhua and is expected to be the first of many marque signings joining a league that is desperate to move on from recent match-fixing charges.

The departure of Drogba is a major blow to Chelsea, who still have ambitions of winning the Champions League and progressing in the FA Cup, a trophy won three times by the Ivorian.

The club's refusal to offer the 33-year-old the two-year deal he desires has contributed to talk of his exit from west-London, where he's scored 150 goals for the club during a nine-year career in the Premier League.

Chelsea may also feel that Drogba's inability to work in tandem with £50 million acquisition Fernando Torres during the last 12 months makes relinquishing the striker a worthwhile option.

Former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti said earlier this week the club should sell Drogba to get the best out of Torres, who has scored just five goals since his move from Liverpool during the last January transfer window.

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