Didier Drogba confirms Galatasaray exit, could he return to England?

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Chelsea legend Didier Drogba confirmed via Instagram that he will be leaving Turkish giants Galatasaray at the expiry of his contract this summer.

With his exit in mind, could the ageless Ivorian make a return to the Premier League?

The 36-year-old clearly still have plenty of love for his former club Chelsea, with Drogba claiming he was the “luckiest man in the Champions League” upon learning his Galatasaray would match up with the Blues in the competition.

Reports have indicated that Jose Mourinho could be interested in returning Drogba to the place he wont the Champions League in 2012, but that would likely be contingent on a number of things falling into place.

It is true that Chelsea are starving for striker help. However, with Diego Costa rumored to be on his way to Stamford Bridge, and both Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o already in place, there is simply no roster room for Drogba unless one of the incumbents were to leave.

However, there still could be plenty of places Drogba could land in the Premier League, given his experience and knowledge of the league, which can’t be underestimated.

With the following being pure speculation, Tottenham could use a striker of Drogba’s caliber, with Roberto Soldado having an underwhelming first season and Emmanuel Adebayor a bit overwhelmed with his workload towards the end of the season.

Arsenal would be glad to have Drogba’s services to back up Olivier Giroud, with the squad starving for depth up front.  Everton could surely use him if Romelu Lukaku were to depart.

Even Liverpool could be a conceivable destination for the striker.  Despite the overwhelming success Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge found this season, next year’s journey in the Champions League could test their depth and the pair have little behind them up front.  Sturridge carried the team throughout Suarez’s early suspension, but could he do so again in a busier season?

The speculation is interesting and fun to imagine where Drogba could find himself playing, but with the striker bagging 15 goals in a Galatasaray shirt this past season, he clearly still has plenty to offer even at his advanced age.  He would likely no longer be the feature striker, but slid into an already established attack, he could return to being a deadly force in the English top flight.

If he were to find himself outside of England, it’s conceivable he would look for another challenge to add to his resume, and maybe his former club could open up a door at Atletico Madrid were Chelsea to successfully pry Diego Costa from the La Liga champions.

Finally, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to see him try out the United States, and there’s no question Major League Soccer would welcome him with open arms.

Where do you see Drogba ending up at the start of next season?

Who will replace Koeman at Everton?

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Where will Everton turn in search of their next manager?

U23s coach David Unsworth is the front-runner to take over, according to several betting sites — not that we’d partake in such madness — and the 44-year-old boasts 312 career appaearances for the Toffees.

[ MORE: Everton sacks Ronald Koeman ]

As for who else could be in frame for the gig, there are names (quite) familiar and new.

David Moyes — This one is an eyebrow-raiser, as Moyes has had little if any success since leaving Everton and ended his time at Sunderland with a sexist takedown of a journalist. But the 54-year-old Scot spent more than 11 years at Everton before leaving for Manchester United, and it’s not like the Toffees wanted him to skip town. He was thrice League Manager of the Year at Goodison Park.

Sean Dyche — The Burnley boss has overachieved time and again at Turf Moor, and the Clarets are one of the smallest outfits the Premier League has ever seen. A move to Everton could be a big and safe enough step to warrant his affection.

Carlo Ancelotti — He’s said he’s not returning to a manager’s seat this season, but the Italian may relish the chance to take a skillful team and organize it into its rightful potential. And we think he’s do a magnificent job.

Chris Coleman — He’s waffled on staying in his position at Wales, and the club’s absence from this summer’s World Cup must have him eyeing the club scene. He’s hasn’t led a club since 2012, having led AEL, Coventry City, Real Sociedad, and Fulham.

Phil Neville — The Manchester United and Everton playing legend doesn’t have first chair experience, but may be able to rally the troops. His latest stint was as an assistant in brother Gary’s tough, short campaign at Valencia.

Although… his recent prediction record isn’t hot.

Longshots: Mikel Arteta, Luis Enrique, Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel, Sam Allardyce, Manuel Pellegrini, Frank De Boer.

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Three seriously injured, 120 detained in Bruges hooligan riot

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BRUSSELS (AP) Authorities are investigating a hooligan riot which seriously injured three people and forced Brugge police to detain 120 following the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp.

[ MORE: Mbappe wins Golden Boy ]

Local police chief Dirk Van Nuffel says one policeman was among the seriously wounded as authorities sought to contain a brawl between Belgian fans reinforced by others who had come from the Netherlands.

By Monday morning all were released but investigators were still seeking to see who was at the core of the fighting. Van Nuffel says such hooligan fighting “hadn’t been seen for years.”

Everton fires Ronald Koeman

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A 5-2 home loss versus Arsenal sent Everton into the Premier League drop zone, and that’s apparently a bridge too far for the Toffees when it comes to their managerial position.

Ronald Koeman is out at Goodison Park.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Everton sits 18th in the Premier League with eight points, it’s minus-11 goal differential second-worst in the top flight. Its 18 goals conceded are third-worst, and only three clubs have scored fewer goals than its seven.

The Toffees won two rounds in the Europa League, beating Ružomberok and Hajduk Split, but have lost to Atalanta and Lyon while drawing Apollon Limassol in Group E play.

Everton faces Chelsea in League Cup play on Wednesday before a critical early season match at Leicester City on Sunday.

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The Best: Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi — Is there a front-runner?

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While France Football has its Ballon d’Or winner somewhere on a 30-man shortlist, FIFA’s “Best” men’s player is down to an unsurprising three ahead of Monday afternoon’s ceremony.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar are up for the award, and there was no major summer tournament outside of the Confederations Cup — only Ronaldo participated — to help tilt the scales in one’s favor this summer.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Of course, Ronaldo claimed another UEFA Champions League crown, but was far from the simple standout of the club. In international play, both Ronaldo and Messi’s World Cup qualifying campaigns came down to the wire while Neymar captained Brazil’s dominant ride through CONMEBOL.

The award, which is said to be for on- and off-field behavior, was voted on by national coaches, national captains, select members of the media and fans.

Ronaldo is the favorite according to hardware, while Messi’s numbers and Neymar’s playmaking both can lay claim to the throne.

Stats since start of 2017

Lionel Messi

Club goals: 46
Club assists: 16
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 4
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Neymar

Club goals: 24
Club assists: 21
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 2
Country assists: 3
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Cristiano Ronaldo

Club goals: 31
Club assists: 7
Country caps: 11
Country goals: 11
Country assists: 4
Accolades: Confederations Cup semifinal, World Cup qualifier, Champions League winner, La Liga winner

Follow @NicholasMendola