Monday 26 September 2016

Drogba waits on Chelsea after deciding to play on

Jeremy Wilson

Published 14/04/2015 | 02:30

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has confirmed that he will continue in club football until at least the end of the 2015-16 campaign
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has confirmed that he will continue in club football until at least the end of the 2015-16 campaign

Didier Drogba has revealed that he will prolong his playing career for at least another year.

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With the Chelsea forward now aged 37, it had been thought that this would be the final season in his career but, having announced his retirement from international football earlier in the season, Drogba has confirmed that he will continue in club football until at least the end of the 2015-16 campaign.

Whether that will be at Chelsea remains unclear. The club's manager, Jose Mourinho, said previously that Drogba would finish his career at Chelsea and predicted that he would then stay on in a new capacity.

Drogba started in Chelsea's 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Sunday and, after a performance that was described by Mourinho as "amazing", revealed his plans to play on into his 18th season and beyond his 38th birthday.

"I have made a decision, yes," he said. "And no, it's not my last season."

Chelsea have not opened talks with Drogba on a new contract or made any offer.

Having decided that he wants to play on, Drogba will wait to hear Chelsea's response, but he will be open also to a move if an agreement to remain at Stamford Bridge is not reached. Asked earlier in the season about Drogba's future, Mourinho said: "The important thing is that he's here and he's going to finish his career with Chelsea."

Mourinho was more circumspect when asked about the situation last week.

"Drogba's future is to train Tuesday and to play against QPR," the manager said. "We have to think, we have to speak, we have to know what he wants.

"We have a lot of talks to do. But it's not a problem.

"There are people who, during their careers, earn the right and the power to make decisions and not wait for others to make decisions for them. What he did at this club for so many years puts him in a great position."

Drogba has won 11 major trophies during his two spells at Chelsea and most famously scored the penalty that secured the 2012 European Cup.

With Loic Remy suffering a calf strain and Diego Costa sidelined with a hamstring injury, Drogba played the full 90 minutes on Sunday. It was only his 10th start of the season, although he has made a further 25 appearances as a substitute and has scored a total of six goals.

"It's difficult when you don't play and then have to go into these kind of games," he said. "But I try to give my best. I tried to give the best of my physical capacity against QPR, so if the manager needs me I'm ready."

Another Chelsea stalwart, Petr Cech, is also considering his future. The goalkeeper is almost certain to leave Stamford Bridge this summer and will be given a major say on where he plays next. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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