WIGAN ENGLAND - AUGUST 21: Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea celebrates with Didier Drogba (11) as he scores their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Chelsea at DW Stadium on August 21 2010 in Wigan England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Although Didier Drogba is currently the clear top dog centre forward at Chelsea, it remains highly unlikely that the veteran will still be at the club come next season. The Ivorian is on a lot of money, he's 34 and his contract is running out in the summer, so the odds on him adding significantly to his 100 league goals with the club are pretty slim. There's still some hope of Drogba signing a short-term deal with the Blues, of course, but the smart money is elsewhere.
One team making a significant push for his services is Shanghai Shenhua, whom you'll recognise from holy-crap-they're-paying-Nicolas-Anelka-a-lot-of-money earlier this year, and they've recruited the former Chelsea striker in an attempt to convince Drogba to come to China:
If I could choose any of my former teammates to join me at Shenhua, it would be Didier. It’s difficult for me to say much at this time, but I speak with him on a regular basis and I expect him to come to Shanghai. When I left Chelsea, I told him we’d play together again soon.
Nico's not the only one involved in Shanghai's push for Drogba - according to their owner, negotiations between the two parties have resulted in the club promising to reserve the number eleven shirt for his eventual use to show their sincerity in their efforts to land him.
Although Drogba going to China would be a deeply strange ending to his Chelsea career, it would probably be a good thing for him. He's already going to go down as one of the best centre forwards of his era, he's unlikely to win many more trophies in the few years he'd have left should he stick around, and Shanghai have the ability to pay him absolutely silly money. I've always maintained that the club's core of legends should be allowed to move on on their own terms, and if Drogba wants to go, I'd have no problem with it.
But man, it'll be hard to say goodbye. Appreciate him for the rest of the season, Chelsea fans, because we might not get to see him again.