The path has been paved for Didier Drogba to land in MLS, in the city of his choosing.
[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup ]
The 37-year-old Ivorian striker, who scored more than 160 goals (all competitions) in nine seasons and won the 2012 UEFA Champions League title with Premier League side Chelsea, has reportedly expressed a strong to desire to land in French-speaking Montreal and play fot the Impact, as opposed to the Chicago Fire, who currently hold his MLS rights through the league’s discovery process.
On Saturday it was reported that the two sides were deep in negotiations for the Impact to acquire Drogba’s MLS rights. On Sunday, ESPN FC’s Jeffrey Carlisle reported that a deal has been struck between the Impact and Fire that will see the former Ivory Coast captain sign an 18-month contract “in excess of $3 million per year.”
As for the Fire’s compensation, it sounds like they’ve made out like bandits, considering they never paid a penny to/for Drogba and will still receive a hefty chunk of allocation money (multiple types, too) in return.
On the Fire’s compensation, from ESPN FC:
When Drogba indicated his preference was to be in Montreal, the Fire traded his rights to the Impact in exchange for what one source with knowledge of the deal described as a “substantial amount of targeted and regular allocation money” well in excess of $100,000.
If the deal comes to fruition, Drogba will immediately fill the greatest need — center forward capable of holding the ball up and finishing chances — for an Impact side currently holding onto the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference. With ample talent around him, Drogba will almost certainly score goals and lead Montreal back into the MLS Cup Playoffs.