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Drogba eager to play two more years at top

IT was pointed that, following his Champions League demolition of Valencia on Tuesday evening, Didier Drogba chose to estimate that he has at least two more years as a top-flight striker left in him before he retires.

After all, two more years is exactly the span of time that the 33-year-old is demanding he receives as a contract extension from Chelsea when his current deals expires in the summer.

Drogba has already rejected a 12-month offer and there have been rumours within the club that the deal has since been withdrawn -- either way no talks are planned until the end of this campaign -- with the Ivorian, should he wish, be free to talk to other clubs next month and sign a pre-contract agreement.

"I hope I've got at least a couple of years left in me," Drogba said after scoring twice against Valencia to propel Chelsea into the last-16 of the Champions League.

"All I want to say is that my future is not so important. This win was important for us. When the time will come, we will speak about my future."

Such stand-offs between club and player are commonplace -- indeed Chelsea went through a similar scenario with Michael Ballack, only for the German international to depart in 2010 -- but Drogba's resurgence allied to Fernando Torres's continued struggles may just tip things in his favour even if there is a desire to cut costs.

Either way he has been upset at suggestions that Chelsea are trying to force him out -- and given that Nicolas Anelka will depart, it is unthinkable.

There has been a perception that Drogba has not re-captured his best form for some time.

"Injuries did not help, the knock on the head, the red card, the surgery on my arm, didn't help to get my fitness," he conceded. "You all saw that I've lost a lot of goals (missed chances) and this is something I hope my fitness will help me to improve."