Portland Timbers declare interest in Didier Drogba

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Major League Soccer outfit Portland Timbers are hoping to convince Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to become the latest Premier League star to begin the next chapter of his career in the United States.

The Timbers, who finished as regular season winners at the end of the 2013 MLS Western Conference, have confirmed their interest in signing the 36-year-old Blues' legend.

Portland owner Merritt Paulson conceded the chances of a deal being done are remote at this stage, but admits he would love to bring the veteran striker to Providence Park in the near future.

Paulson hails Drogba

“Drogba is a unique guy who, despite his age, is uniquely skilled to clean up in MLS," Paulson told reporters. "The League almost signed him a couple years ago and I know my coach would love him to be a Timber, but I highly doubt it at this point.”

Recent reports have speculated that Drogba is considering announcing his retirement from football, bringing an end to his 17-year playing career.

Chelsea seeking replacement

Chelsea are actively preparing for the Ivory Coast icon's departure by looking at potential replacements. Benfica star Anderson Talisca and Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi are both on Jose Mourinho's radar, according to the London Evening Standard, but the west London outfit failed to strike a deal for Croatia international Andrej Kramarić, who has agreed a deal to join Premier League strugglers Leicester City.

Drogba re-signed for Chelsea on a one-year deal last summer following a two-year absence from Stamford Bridge.

He scored 157 goals in 341 matches during his first stint with the Blues - the last of which came in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich - and has managed to add a further six goals to his tally after leaving Galatasaray at the end of last season.

Drogba could follow Gerrard to MLS

One of the most formidable strikers of the Premier League era, Drogba would represent a major coup for any MLS side.

LA Galaxy confirmed the signing of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard this week - the former England international will join in the summer - and Portland Timbers hope to make a similar announcement regarding the acquisition of Drogba over the coming months.

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