Jose Mourinho has expressed his belief in an interview that Didier Drogba could return to the club in the near future.
Matt Barlow and Jack Gaughan of The Mail Online report the Chelsea manager's thoughts on Drogba, as the Blues legend returns to Stamford Bridge with Galatasaray for Tuesday's crucial Champions League encounter.
Mourinho is quoted saying:
I think destiny will (see him return). Not even destiny, I think a collective desire from the club and from Didier means that one day, sooner or later, as a player, a coach, as an ambassador, as a board member, and because of the respect between him and owner. The situation is normal that Didier comes back. I think so—he likes the club, the club likes him.
I think it has to happen one day. When? I don’t know. As a player, as a coach, as an ambassador.
Next year, in four years, in 10 years I don’t know. When a player represents so much to one club and one club so much to one player—and in Didier’s case that’s the case—I think he has to be back one day.
Drogba's popularity has always remained high with Chelsea fans after the club won the Champions League against Bayern Munich due to the player's contribution. His last kick in a blue shirt secured Europe's most prestigious title.
He left Stamford Bridge immediately after that success for a short playing stint in China but returned to European action with Gala.
He has scored twice this season in seven Champions League performances, per Squawka, and he now looks to knock out his beloved Chelsea from the competition.
Drogba gave his thoughts on his imminent return to Chelsea, and the emotions he will likely feel:
Mourinho's words were closely chosen and, as complimentary as he is about Drogba, his only concern is to see Chelsea progress in the Champions League. This could all be a case of "killing Drogba with love" as he knows it will be difficult for the striker on his return to Stamford Bridge.
If he can nullify the threat of Drogba then Galatasaray will find it almost difficult to beat Chelsea and cause one of this season's genuine shocks.
The thought of Drogba returning to play for Chelsea in the near future is a romantic notion, but it could also be a sensible stop gap. The club have failed in their attempts to replace him and it would make sense to bring him back into the fold for a year or two.
Such a move would be a hugely popular one with fans and players, and Drogba would offer Mourinho an option that Fernando Torres does not.
Torres does not offer the intensity that the Blues require in the centre-forward position, and Drogba could help with this as Mourinho searches for a world-class replacement.
Despite his age, Drogba still has the talent to be a relative success in the Premier League once again and also help drive Chelsea towards the goal of being champions of Europe once more.