Nicolas Anelka knows Didier Drogba’s next move and strongly suggested in a press conference today that the Chelsea star will not be joining him at Shanghai Shenhua during the summer transfer window.
Drogba’s next move has been the subject of intense speculation over the past couple of months, with Shenhua amongst the front-runners for his signature, and even setting aside the number 11 shirt for the Ivorian.
However Anelka told reporters today, “I’ve had private discussions with Drobga and I already know his decision, but it’s not convenient to tell everyone here right now,” adding, “If he chooses to stay at Chelsea, then that shows he wants to stay at Chelsea, and Chelsea want to persuade him to stay.
Anelka’s hints are the latest signs which suggest Drogba is not China-bound. Last month, Shenhua owner Zhu Jun deleted all posts about Drogba from his weibo account, and the Chinese media reported Drogba’s wife cancelled a fact-finding visit to China.
Chinese media also reported yesterday that Chelsea had offered Drogba a new two-year contract.
Anelka added, “Even if Drogba can’t come, we can’t have any regrets as there are still many outstanding players in the world.”
The Frenchman also told reporters he knew nothing about Michael Owen’s proposed move to Shenhua, and revealed he was fit again for selection, after missing Shenhua’s last match against Shandong through injury.
Ground: Hongkou Football Stadium, Hongkou District, Shanghai
Capacity: 35,000 (26,000 for football)
Honours: Chinese top-tier league champions: 1995
Chinese top-tier league runners-up: 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008
Chinese FA Cup winners: 1998
Chinese FA Cup runners up: 1995, 1997, 2015