Chelsea hero Didier Drogba seals China deal
SHANGHAI - Agence France-PresseChelsea and Ivory Coast idol Didier Drogba yesterday sealed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Shanghai Shenhua, becoming the biggest recruit so far to China’s ambitious Super League.
The announcement ends months of speculation about the move, in which the striker will become China’s best paid player with weekly pay of $314,000, according to reports, and join ex-Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka.
“Today I can inform you that I have signed with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua FC for a two-and-a-half year deal (until the end of 2014),” Drogba, 34, said on his website. “I will fly out to join up with the squad in July.” Shanghai Shenhua posted a picture of Drogba wearing the team’s blue shirt - similar to Chelsea’s - on its website, and confirmed the deal in a brief statement.
Alongside Anelka, who joined Shenhua in January, Drogba will form a feared strike-force in the Chinese league, which has shrugged off years of corruption scandals with a spending spree on coaches and players.
Reigning champion Guangzhou Evergrande is spearheaded by imported South American talent, and it pulled off a coup by snaring the services of World Cup-winning Italian coach Marcello Lippi in May.