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Drogba shirt sealed, but no deal signed

Updated: 2012-02-02 17:16
( chinadaily.com.cn)

Drogba shirt sealed, but no deal signed

Didier Drogba [File Photo]

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will be given the No 11 shirt if he officially joins the Chinese soccer club Shanghai Shenhua, despite talks between the two sides still in deadlock, Guangzhou-based newspaper Soccer News reported Thursday.

Shanghai Shenhua's owner Zhu Jun arrived in Switzerland earlier this week to hold talks with Drogba's agent in an effort to persuade the 34-year-old striker to move to China after his contract with Chelsea ends this June.

When asked to comment on the progress of the current negotiation, the club's board member Zhou Jun told Soccer News the deadlock has not been broken despite owner Zhu Jun's greatest effort and patience.

"(In terms of chasing Drogba) I hope all we need to do is just reserving the No 11 shirt for him, but that is not reality," Zhou was quoted as saying.

In another report published by Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News, Zhou Jun said the club's focus now is signing Drogba in the second half of the season (from June to November), but "it seems to be very difficult as he plays quite well now and many teams will have an interest in him, so he is in a better negotiating position."

"We will not give up chasing him before this July," Zhou added.

A number of reports in the British media also claim Drogba intends to stay at Chelsea at least until the end of the season, rejecting speculation of a move during the January transfer window.

Last December, striker Nicolas Anelka quit Stamford Bridge for Shanghai Shenhua when he signed a two-year deal, making him become the most expensive and famous foreign player in the Chinese Super League (CSL).

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