Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has joined the likes of Andriy Shevchenko, Ricardo Olivera, Hernan Crespo and many more in Real Madrid's frantic search for a top-class hitman.

It has been rough days for Real fans across the world, and last weekend brought no consolation as Bernd Schuster's men dropped three more points against an extremely determined Valladolid outfit at the Estadio Jose Zorilla.

The Madrid hierarchy is in a desperate search for a world-renowed striker who can bring back the glory days to the Bernabeu after the team's sudden drop of form.

Barcelona-based Sport claims that the capital side have begun preliminary negotiations with Chelsea about the signing of Drogba this winter.

Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic is a huge fan of the Ivorian hitman and is aware of his effectivness in front of goal, an aspect that Real Madrid has been lacking ever since the injury to Ruud van Nistelrooy, which will keep him out for around nine months.

Los Blancos came very close to capturing Drogba this summer, but Ramon Calderón had his focus on Cristiano Ronaldo and neglected Schuster's repeated cries for a striker. By the time the Ronaldo saga had ended, Drogba decided to stay put at Stamford Brdige for another year.

The reports suggest that Chelsea will ask a fee in the region of $25 million for its striker, a sum that Calderon will not have too much trouble dishing out, especially after selling Robinho for double that price to Manchester City in late August.

Drogba will not be able to play for Madrid in the Champions League, as he is cup tied.

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