Chelsea Transfer News: Didier Drogba Dream Fades, Ross Barkley Warning Issued

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2014

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 26:  John Terry of Chelsea looks on as Didier Drogba of Galatasaray clears the ball during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Galatasaray AS and Chelsea at Ali Sami Yen Arena on February 26, 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Didier Drogba's rumoured return to former club Chelsea has been dealt a blow with reports suggesting the 36-year-old Ivorian is set to join Juventus next season. 

The Blues legend had been linked with a move back to Stamford Bridge in the summer as his contract with Galatasaray is over, per Simon Jones of The Daily Mail.

However, it now seems that Drogba is set to join the Serie A champions after two seasons with the Turkish club, as reported by French newspaper L'Equipe (via 101 Great Goals):

Having spent two seasons with Galatasaray after his days at Chelsea ended, the Ivorian superstar is now headed to Serie A, if L’Equipe is accurate on Wednesday.

According to the French daily, the Chelsea hero is poised to join Juventus. Drogba is said to be keen on trying to win the Champions League one last time, and a move to Turin fits in with those goals.

Drogba could have provided Chelsea with bags of experience as well as, no doubt, a handful of goals next season.

But with the signing of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa for £32 million all but confirmed, per Gary Jones of the Daily Star, missing out on the Ivorian should not be much of a problem for Jose Mourinho's side. 

However, another potentially more important target, Everton's Ross Barkley, could also be out of reach, with Toffees manager Roberto Martinez insisting he is not for sale, as reported by David Anderson of The Mirror.

The England star would reportedly fetch up to £30 million for Everton, but Martinez is adamant the 20-year-old needs to stay at Goodison Park for his own sake, per Anderson's report:

That (a transfer) would be wrong for him. I always feel as a manager, you develop a relationship with players and you’re always honest with them.

Ross is a phenomenal talent, probably the best English talent I have ever seen, but he is not the finished article yet and you need to be very careful.

It’s our duty to protect him and I know Everton is the perfect place for him for the next 12 months.

Barkley scored six goals in the Premier League this season, per, and many are tipping him to star at the World Cup in Brazil this summer after he was included in Roy Hodgson's squad. 

His attacking prowess and raw talent must certainly be an attraction for Mourinho, but it seems he will have to wait a little longer if he wishes to bring Barkley to Stamford Bridge.

Jones' piece reports other Chelsea signings that are potentially on the cards, including Sevilla's Europa League stars Alberto Moreno—to replace Ashley Cole—and Ivan Rakitic, as well as Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala.

Mangala has made it clear that he wishes to join the London club, even over Premier League champions Manchester City, per Jones' report:

"City or Chelsea? Chelsea, because it is London," he said. "There have been discussions with Manchester City, but the clubs did not reach an agreement."

Mourinho's first season back in charge of Chelsea ended with a third-placed Premier League finish and a semi-final defeat to Atletico in the Champions League.

The Blues will look to strengthen over the summer as they aim to improve next season, and if Costa does indeed move to London, they will have added the essential firepower they have been lacking.

Greater strength in depth at the back will make the Blues a serious contender on all fronts in 2014-15.