Sunday, May 20, 2018

Drogba re-unites with Mourinho at Chelsea; Monaco sign Tiemoué Bakayoko

Chelsea F.C. have confirmed the re-signing of Côte d’Ivoire international striker Didier Drogba on a one-year deal.

Chelsea F.C. have confirmed the re-signing of Côte d’Ivoire international striker Didier Drogba on a one-year deal.

Drogba, 36, left West London in favour of joining Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua after helping the Blues win the UEFA Champions League in 2012.

In January 2013, Drogba signed for Galatasaray, where he would go on to net 20 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions during his one-and-a-half year spell with Turkish Süper Lig giants.

“He’s coming because he’s one of the best strikers in Europe,” Mourinho, who signed Drogba for Chelsea from Olympique de Marseille in a deal worth £24 million in July 2004, told the club’s official website.

“I know his personality very well and I know if he comes back he’s not protected by history or what he’s done for this club previously. He is coming with the mentality to make more history.”

Drogba, who has joined on a free transfer, simply could not turn down the opportunity to play under Mourinho for a second time.

“It was an easy decision – I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again,” the Ivorian legend said.

“Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club and it has always felt like home to me.

“My desire to win is still the same and I look forward to the opportunity to help this team. I am excited for this next chapter of my career.”

Drogba, voted Chelsea’s greatest ever player by the club’s supporters in 2012, bagged 157 goals in 341 games for the Blues during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, winning four FA Cups,  two League Cups, three Premier League titles and the Champions League.

The arrival of Drogba coincides with Raúl García’s recent comments regarding Chelsea striker Fernando Torres and the possibility of the Spaniard returning to the Vicente Calderón.

“I speak to him [Torres] a lot and he still feels very strongly about this club,” said García.

“His life has been defined by what he experienced here and he is another option just like any other that the media have mentioned. Any great player that can come here will be welcome.”

Atlético have added Mario Mandžukić to replace Diego Costa this summer but continue to be linked with the aforementioned Torres and Manchester City’s Álvaro Negredo.

However, the latter has just been ruled out for three months after breaking his metatarsal in the pre-season friendly versus Hearts in Edinburgh on 18 July.

In other news, Monaco have completed the signing of highly-rated teenage midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko from Stade Rennais for an undisclosed fee.

Bakayoko, 19, had been attracting interest from Liverpool after an impressive debut campaign at the Stade de la Route de Lorient.


Shawn Etemadi



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