On Wednesday night, Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop said he hoped for a resolution to the increasingly prolonged transfer dealings surrounding legendary Chelsea striker Didier Drogba “in the next 48 hours.” That was roughly 65 hours ago.
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The saga is still ongoing, but may just be winding down. According to reports from Fire Confidential and ESPN FC, the Fire are deep into negotiations with the Montreal Impact, who would like to acquire Drogba’s MLS rights in order to sign the 37-year-old Ivorian.
The Fire hold the right of first refusal should they make the player a bona fide contract offer — they have, reportedly to the tune of $3 million per year — but Drogba has reportedly made his desire to land in Montreal — where his native language, French, is the official language — quite clear.
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The Fire are likely due a hefty compensation package from the Impact — whether it be allocation money, targeted allocation money, draft picks or the rights to other players — which is reportedly the sticking point at the moment.
On the state of negotiations, from ESPN FC:
League rules state that Montreal need only pay Chicago $50,000 to acquire his rights, but that’s only if the Fire had no intention of making a contract offer to the player. Since Chicago has done that, the club is allowed to ask for more, though the source indicated via email that the two sides were “still apart” in terms of determining compensation.
Should Drogba land in MLS this summer, he’ll join the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and Giovani dos Santos as high-priced stars having joined the league after the start of the 2015 season.