Drogba to be unveiled as Shanghai Shenhua player tomorrow
World superstar Didier Drogba will officially join Shanghai Shenhua tomorrow, according to local media reports, putting to an end months of speculation in one of the CSL’s longest-ever running transfer sagas.
Reports in Shanghai media initially said Drogba would join today, the first day of the CSL summer transfer window, however the latest reports suggest the news will first be broken by the man himself on his personal website.
Local media reported the deal is said to be worth 9.5 million UKP a year and the contract being haggled over said to consist of 50 pages, with separate editions in English, French and Chinese, with the French edition taking precedence in the event of any dispute.
Internet in Shanghai is currently on fire, with anticipation on social networks reaching fever pitch as the long-awaited transfer of the man who scored in the Champions League final just a few weeks ago appears to be about to become reality. “CSL defenders are already quaking in their boots” said one Shenhua fan on Weibo, amongst other more colourful and excitable posts by members of Shenhua’s hardcore fan group, the Blue Devils.
Several Shanghai newspapers carried stories today reporting that Shenhua are preparing Drogba’s work permit application and are securing a five-star hotel for him to live in Shanghai at first, and more permanent accommodation later.
Shenhua are also poised to unveil a big-name South American midfield signing by the end of the week.
Author: Cameron Wilson
UK trained journalist and long-time Chinese football observer Cameron Wilson has been writing about Chinese football since 2005 for various International and China-based news outlets such as Agence France-Presse, Goal.com, Shanghaiist, China Sports Review, That’s Shanghai, Time out Shanghai and City Weekend. In August 2010 he decided to launch a website dedicated to Chinese football as a central despository for all of his writings ont he subject.
He’s traveled all over China following Shanghai Shenhua as a fully paid-up member of its infamous Blue Devil’s supporters group.
His association with China stretches back over a decade, having first arrived in August 2000 to teach English for a year in a rural town a few hours northwest of Shanghai. He took in his first Chinese football match during this time – a 2-1 victory for Shanghai Shenhua against Dalian Shide. He went home to the UK in July 2001 but returned to China to live in Shanghai in 2005. Since then he’s been a Shanghai Shenhua season ticket holder and a member of the Blue Devil’s supporters’ club. The views expressed by him on Wild East Football may suffer from a slight bias to this effect.
He is also however, still very much a fan of his hometown team, Dunfermline Athletic. A “Par from afar”, as it were.
A passionate believer in the power of the beautiful game to build bridges between diverse peoples and cultures, he was the first foreign fan to travel with the Blue Devil fans’ club to an away match – a tremendous 3-2 victory for Shenhua over Beijng Guoan in September 2007.
Cameron speaks decent mandarin and can crack jokes in Shanghainese.