(FILE PHOTO) Didier Drogba has today announced he will leave Chelsea FC on a free transfer after eight years...LONDON - AUGUST 8: Didier Drogba of Chelsea in action during a Tribute match for Gianfranco Zola between Chelsea and Real Zaragoza at Stamford Bridge on August 8, 2004 in London. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Well well well. The Didier-Drogba-in-China experiemnt is already over, apparently according to the Associated Press (but I can't find the original source, so bear that in mind). There had been rumblings that Shanghai Shenhua were having severe financial difficulties and that they'd be unable to pay the Chelsea legend his (extremely high) wages, and, well, they turned out to be entirely true. So now Drogba's a free agent, just a few months after he left the club.
And the Blues need some depth at centre forward. Pretty badly, in fact. Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge are both adequate players, but with Romelu Lukaku loaned out there simply aren't very many options open to Roberto di Matteo if an injury hits. I had been operating on the assumption that a backup centre forward would be brought in on Friday at the close of the transfer window, but despite two squad slots being opened up, no Loic Remy was forthcoming.
That struck me as odd. This news -- from what I can tell based on a scan of the league's rules and regulations, the Premier League would permit Chelsea to sign Drogba right now* -- strikes me as odd as well. Whether or not that's the plan... well I have no idea what the club wants, or what Drogba wants. But, this sure would be something if it happened.
*I'm not a lawyer, but I cannot find the section in player registrations that would indicate that this is not the case, as some are claiming. Clarification is welcome.
All the rumours of Didier— Sports PR Company (@SportsPRCompany) September 1, 2012
@fondationdrogba being released by Shanghai are nonsense. He is on international duty this week.
On Drogba: Associated Press reporter tells me no such AP report on wire. My mistake to RT in 1st place. Apologies.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) September 1, 2012
Looks like everyone got duped and I followed it in. Back practice after I couldn't find the reported AP story myself. Sorry.