Didier Drogba signs for Galatasaray after snubbing Chelsea

Chelsea blow as Drogba signs 18-month deal at Turkish giants Galatasaray despite approach from his former club

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

18:22 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:40 GMT, 28 January 2013

Didier Drogba has signed an 18-month deal with Galatasaray after turning down the chance of a sensational return to Chelsea.

The Ivorian has joined the Turkish outfit on loan from his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

Roman Abramovich gave the go-ahead last week to offer Drogba a deal until the end of the season, with an option for a further year.

Done deal: Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who is with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, has completed a loan move to Turkish club Galatasaray from Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua

Done deal: Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who is with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, has completed a loan move to Turkish club Galatasaray from Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Incredibly the talks were so far
advanced that Chelsea were convinced that the man who delivered the
European Cup last season was on the brink of signing before Thursday’s
transfer deadline.

He won three Premier League titles,
four FA Cups and his Chelsea career ended with that glorious finale
against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena in May last year.

Chelsea
offered him a year’s extension on reduced terms at the time, but
Drogba, 34, decided to quit after lifting the Champions League.

The Blues have been struggling without him this season and Fernando Torres, who scored yesterday, is still struggling for form.

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Champion: Didier Drogba sits on the pitch with the European Cup

Champion: Didier Drogba sits on the pitch with the European Cup

Drogba, whose family still live in
Surrey and whose children attend Chelsea’s academy, has been training
with his old team-mates ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations and they
initially began teasing him that he wanted to return.

Despite the temptation to relive the
glory years with his former team-mates, he will guarantee Champions
League football by signing for Galatasaray.

The
big-spending Turkish side, who recruited former Champions League winner
Wesley Sneijder last week, expect to announce the deal for Drogba this
week.

Galatasary face
Schalke in the European Cup next month and the lure of playing in the
competition he won last season proved too much.

More to follow….

Big spenders: Galatasaray also snapped up Dutchman Wesley Sneijder (right)

Big spenders: Galatasaray also snapped up Dutchman Wesley Sneijder (right)