Didier Drogba’s Chelsea FC Return Hits Roadblocks


Didier Drogba’s return to Stamford Bridge for a third time has hit some stumbling blocks as Chelsea FC try to negotiate a deal.

Chelsea recently confirmed their interest in bringing Didier Drogba back to West London. Rumours started to swirl as he attended the club’s fixture with Sunderland as a guest of Roman Abramovich, just after Jose Mourinho was sacked. He even took his seat in between the owner and Guus Hiddink during the game.

Drogba currently plays for Montreal Impact in the MLS and thus a release needs to be negotiated should the forward take up what is believed to be a coaching role anytime soon. The Impact stated that they were cooperating with the Blues as they sought an agreement that would benefit everyone involved.

Now, the Telegraph claims that talks have hit a roadblock as Chelsea seek a settlement with Major League Soccer itself.

"Unless Drogba announces his playing retirement, Chelsea must come to an agreement with MLS officials to release him a year early from his Montreal deal because it is the league and not the club that hold his contract."

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One of the more unique (and somewhat ridiculous) features of the MLS is that the players are contracted to the league instead of the club. While the teams do negotiate contracts and technicalities as you would understand, the players end up ultimately committing to the league’s administrative body.

Unfortunately, MLS are seemingly proving difficult to deal with but it is hard to blame them. Drogba is one of the competition’s marquee players who was brought over to increase awareness and draw more fans to the product. Hence, they seem unwilling to give in to Chelsea’s request should they not be compensated on favourable terms.

There may also be a wish to appear as though they are not rolling over to the wants of the big club from England.

It would be somewhat disappointing to see Drogba abandon his commitment with the Impact for the Stamford Bridge bench. Unlike a conventional transfer, the Ivorian is looking to leave for what may be a temporary coaching role. He hasn’t indicated a wish to give up playing the game so should his coaching stint just last to the end of the season, Montreal may be short-changed.

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Nevertheless, it seems out of character for the forward to turn his back on a project so cruelly. I would imagine that any negotiated severance, should they be one, will take into accounts the damage that his departure will do to both the club and the league.

Only time will tell, though.