Montreal Impact striker Didier Drogba has disputed a report from French paper L'Equipe that he has retired and is joining the coaching staff at his former club, Chelsea.
The Ivorian star, 37, was said to be joining Chelsea on the bench for its Champions League round-of-16 matches against Paris Saint-Germain, beginning Feb. 19.
The Impact confirmed in December that it had been involved in talks with Drogba and Chelsea regarding the player’s future. Drogba joined the team and MLS in July 2015, and his contract runs through the 2016 MLS season. The club called the situation out of its control, although it would prefer to have Drogba fulfill his contract. He has scored 11 goals in 11 regular season matches, with another in the playoffs to make a significant impact in his time with Montreal.
In wake of the L’Equipe report, MLSsoccer.com’s Olivier Tremblay reported that the Impact informed him that Drogba has yet to inform the club of his retirement, and Drogba himself took to Twitter to dispute the report.
Drogba was in attendance at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s win over Sunderland Dec. 19, the club’s first match since the firing of manager Jose Mourinho, and met with interim manager Guus Hiddink and owner Roman Abramovich. Hiddink also served as interim manager for Chelsea in 2009, and briefly managed Drogba, who was then a member of the team.
Chelsea, the defending Premier League champion, is currently treading water in the bottom half of the table in what has been the club’s most disappointing campaign in years.
- Jeremy Woo