• Premier League

Shenhua: Drogba deal nearly done

ESPN staff
June 18, 2012
Didier Drogba is set to become a Shanghai Shenhua player © Getty Images

Shanghai Shenhua owner Zhu Jun is confident that Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will announce his arrival at the Chinese club in the coming days.

The video game magnate who runs the free-spending football club is just waiting for Drogba to announce his future via his personal official website.

Although Zhu Jun would not confirm an agreement, he gave the clearest indication yet that a deal is close to being announced.

"You should ask this question to Drogba's management," Zhu Jun told reporters asking when the announcement would come. "We have put in great effort for nearly half a year and particularly last week, when we met with his management team to reach a unanimous agreement on some crucial points.

"As of this morning, things are developing in the right direction, but I don't know if Drogba will announce he is joining us today. Right now, I really don't know. Maybe I can give you all an answer tomorrow, maybe we need to wait a few more days. Who knows?"

Zhu Jun did reveal though that the Chinese side are looking to commit Drogba to a two-and-a-half year deal at the club, with the Ivorian set to spearhead their hopes of challenging for a Super League title.

He added that a decision over the captaincy, currently held by Drogba's former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka, would be left to new Argentine coach Sergio Batista.

"Right now, I cannot comment [on the terms offered]. This deal involves two parties and is confidential," Zhu added. "Even if Drogba joins Shenhua, we won't leak details. I can say that we have offered a two and a half year contract. The coach is Batista, he will decide who is captain. But, I have faith in Drogba's professionalism."

The club are hopeful for a swift announcement, with the transfer window open as of Monday, but Drogba would not be able to sign a deal at the club until completion of his Chelsea contract on June 30.

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