Didier Drogba has confirmed that he will leave Chelsea for Shanghai when his contract expires at the end of the June, in a move designed to fulfil his needs both on and off the pitch.
The 34-year-old is expected to earn over £200,000-per-week during two-and-a-half years in China, while Shenhua will also endeavour to contribute to the striker's projects in Africa.
It had long been expected that Drogba would join Shanghai Shenhua and the Ivorian confirmed on Wednesday morning that an agreement had been reached .
"Today I can inform you that I have signed with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua FC for a two and a half year deal (until the end of 2014). I will fly out to join up with the squad in July," Drogba told his official website.
"I have considered all the offers I have received in the past few weeks, but I feel that Shanghai Shenhua FC is the right move for me at this time.
"I am looking forward to a new challenge and to experiencing a new culture, and I am excited about the new developments in the Chinese Super League. When Chelsea went to China last year, we had a great time and I met some amazing fans.
"I hope to help promote Chinese football around the world and further improve the links between China and Africa."
Drogba will form a forward partnership with former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka when the new season begins - a prospect that would strike fear into the hearts of some of the top defences in Europe, let alone China.
Spare a thought, however, for Australian striker Joel Griffiths who joined Shenhua in January surely under the premise that he lead the line in Shanghai alongside Nicolas Anelka after a fruitful spell with Beijing Guoan.
A niggling knee injury has since affected the ambitions of the 32-year-old, while the acquisition of Drogba will have further dented his chances of a regular starting berth.
However, Griffiths is feeling optimistic and says it would be a 'dream' if he is granted the opportunity to feature alongside Drogba when the Chelsea legend joins up with his new teammates.
"It looks like he is coming and for me it would be a dream come true to play alongside him," Griffiths told The World Game.
"When I joined the team the chance to play with Anelka was great but because of the injury that's not really been the case. With Didier Drogba now signing the scenario is even more amazing."
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