Shenhua in final talks with Drogba
Updated Friday, 15th June 2012
Shanghai Shenhua have entered the 'final round' of negotiations to bring former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to China, the official Shanghai Daily newspaper said on Friday.
The Chinese Super League club have reportedly been in talks for months with Ivory Coast's Drogba, who would join his former Chelsea team-mate striker Nicolas Anelka if the deal goes through.
"A top Shenhua official left for Ivory Coast for the final round of negotiations to sign star striker Didier Drogba," the report said.
The newspaper said a Shenhua board member, Zhou Jun, would hold direct talks with the 34-year-old player.
Speaking on Thursday, Shenhua's new manager Sergio Batista boosted hopes Drogba might join the club.
"The possibility of Drogba coming is still relatively large," Batista told a news conference, a transcript of which was posted on a Shanghai media website.
"I believe the club's management is still in contact with Drogba," he said, adding he did not expect news until after June 30.
Shenhua declined to comment on Friday.
Drogba left Chelsea after helping the English Premier League club to their first ever Champions League triumph last month.
Former Argentina manager Batista joined Shenhua, sitting ninth in the 16-club Chinese league, late last month after the club sacked French coach Jean Tigana and temporarily made Anelka player-coach.