It would seem Galatasaray is compiling an All-Star squad of yesteryear. Earlier in the month, the team added Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder. Now, Galatasaray has added a star striker and the hero of last year's Champions League final, Didier Drogba.
UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
Galatasaray have announced they have reached an agreement to sign Didier Drogba. The former Chelsea striker will join the Turkish giants from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua on an 18-month deal.
His representatives revealed on Twitter that the Côte d’Ivoire international would join up with his new side following the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. Gala confirmed the deal on their official website.
Sports PR Company had some quotes from Drogba on the move:
Didier @fondationdrogbasaid "the opportunity to play for this great club was an offer that I could not turn down....— Sports PR Company (@SportsPRCompany) January 28, 2013
... I am looking forward to playing in the Champions League again, against the best clubs in Europe."— Sports PR Company (@SportsPRCompany) January 28, 2013
---End of update---
Football Italia has the news:
Galatasaray have officially announced the signing of Juventus target Didier Drogba.
The Ivorian striker has long been linked with the Bianconeri, but the Turkish club have revealed that they have signed the 34-year-old.
Meanwhile, The Sun has more information on the transfer and contract details:
Didier Drogba has escaped his China hell by sealing an £8.5million switch to Galatasaray.
Drogba has signed an 18-month contract in Turkey after quitting Shanghai Shenhua.
After leaving Chelsea on a free transfer this summer, Drogba joined Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua. Who could blame him? He's reportedly earning about £200,000 per week for the side.
Drogba's departure marks another cost-cutting move for the Shanghai club. According to ESPN, Nicolas Anelka is also departing China to join Juventus for the remainder of the season.
Reports have surfaced suggesting that Drogba wanted to depart the team once several Serie A teams started to show serious interest in his services. Instability in Shanghai Shenhua's ownership earlier in the season certainly hasn't helped keep him interested in sticking around.
Galatasaray is getting a player who, yes, is past his prime, but nonetheless remains one of the finest big-game players in the world. Drogba is still a classy goal scorer, and he always seems to be at his finest under the bright lights.
He and Sneijder certainly add a lot of experience, skill and precision to the Turkish side. Drogba also brings along a few theatrics, which anyone who has ever watched him put on a diving display during a match can attest.
Drogba is currently playing for Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations. The team looks primed to make a run for the title, so he won't be available immediately for Galatasaray. However, once Drogba lands, expect the striker to make his mark in Turkey as he's done in so many other places.