Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Barca Is the Front-Runner in Chase for Didier Drogba
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Didier Drogba is a wanted man and Barcelona is a favorite to cash in on his services.
Drogba and his Chelsea teammates are still in celebration mode after upending Barcelona in added time in the Champions League Semifinal. Trailing 2-0 and down to just 10 men, Chelsea tied the match and then won it, when Fernando Torres sealed the deal with an aggregate deciding goal.
Immediately following the victory, speculation on Drogba's future began to run rampant. The 34-year-old star still has to prepare to face FC Bayern München in Saturday's final. But as soon as it ends, Drogba will be out of his contract and will be free to negotiate.
Barcelona has confirmed its interest and appears ready to pounce on the world-class striker with a five-year deal worth up to $5 million. Drogba, of course, would have to walk away from Chelsea and refuse to go to China, Milan or the United States.
According to a Barcelona club source, the timing for a deal with Drogba may be just right, as David Villa recovers from a broken foot he suffered last season.
“What the team needs is an attacking player who has the presence and strength to trouble defenders. Drogba has that profile and is one of the players the club (is) looking at.”
Villa should be back to full strength by next season, so teaming him up with Drogba and superstar Lionel Messi would give Barcelona a dominating threesome. But that dream combination may never come about because the Spanish powerhouse is not the only club prepared to court Drogba.
AC Milan has quietly raved about the Blues star for years and is reportedly prepared to join the fray. Then there is Shanghai FC, which may try to outbid everybody for Drogba.
Chelsea has offered a new two-year contract, but the lure of Barcelona may be too much for Drogba. In late April, Messi was caught on camera being overly friendly to him in the tunnel before the two clubs faced each other.
If he says yes to 'Los Cules', the star will look back with pride at eight great seasons with Stamford Bridge.
Drogba would also have an opportunity to start fresh with Barcelona's new coach Tito Vilanova. Vilanova will replace Pep Guardiola, who plans to step down after the Copa Del Rey Final next week against Athletic Bilbao.
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