Even after all these years, Didier Drogba can still brew up a good transfer window steam.
Just a few months ago, the former Chelsea striker made what seemed to be his final career move, signing famously with Shanghai Shenhua in China for a small pot of gold.
Reports last week said Drogba was on the move back to Europe, having already signed with Turkey’s Galatasaray. Those reports may have been slightly premature, but there is clearly something working between the two parties. Galatasaray confirmed today they are in negotiations with the 34-year-old striker.
(How does news become official in Turkey? When some organization, like a soccer club, reports it to the Turkish Stock Exchange, apparently.)
Meanwhile, this report says Drogba turned down an offer to re-join Chelsea, where he left last spring in Hollywood script style, winning the Champions League for his club on practically his last kick. How odd might that have been, for the team that let him go just a few months ago to go begging on knees to for his to come back?
Two other points to make here:
First, Galatasaray has something working here. If Drogba arrives, he’ll partner with Dutch international Wesley Sneijder, who moved to Galatasaray from Inter Milan just last week. The Turkish clubs meets German’s Schalke in the first round of Champions League knockout stage play next month.
Second, whatever the problem is in China, this is certainly sounding alarm bells among others who may have been lured by the bountiful salaries being offered. Drogba was set to earn somewhere north of $15 million annually for his relatively short-term deal.
Instead, he is leaving after just six months. Same for former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka, who had also signed with Shanghai Shenhua in China for a reported $16 million annually. But Anelka lasted only about 12 months before asking for a move back into Europe; he just went on loan to Italy’s Juventus through the end of the season.