Chelsea Set To Negotiate With Drogba

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck says the club will hold talks with forward Didier Drogba about a new contract this week.

Drogba, whose decisive play helped the blues clinch the Champions League trophy scored the crucial penalty to defeat Bayern Munich in the shootout of the Champions League final on Saturday, is out of contract next month. The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international joined the west London club from Marseille in 2004.

Buck said that Chelsea’s chief executive Ron Gourlay is likely “to sit down with his (Drogba’s) agent this week and we’ll see where it goes.”

Buck added that the club intends to appoint a permanent manager prior to the pre-season tour of the United States that starts with a match against Seattle Sounders on July 18.

Meanwhile, after leading Chelsea to the biggest trophy in club football, Roberto di Matteo’s future as manager of the London club is still in doubt.

Di Matteo had a conversation with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich after the team’s penalty shootout win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on Saturday, but he would not disclose what he discussed with the Russian billionaire. “What was discussed with the boss we don’t disclose publicly,” Di Matteo said after Chelsea lifted the title for the first time. He looked very happy.

“The only thing I know is that I am capable of going on holiday, it’s been a challenging three months,” he added. “Whatever the future holds for me I’d be happy, whatever the club decides I’ll respect it.”

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes revealed what he’d do if he were in Abramovich’s position. “If I were the owner, I’d give him a three-year contract,” Heynckes said after the match.

Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, but the London club had been unable to win the Champions League until Di Matteo’s brief – and officially temporary – tenure. The Italian-born, 41-year-old Di Matteo took over when Andre Villas-Boas was fired following a 3-1 loss to Napoli in the round of 16 in March.

“Nobody could have predicted this, the last three months, to finish like this is incredible. Football is like life, unpredictable and crazy,” he said. “It’s a great achievement.” Chelsea also won the FA Cup, but finished sixth in the Premier League. By winning the Champions League Chelsea has qualified for next season’s competition. “It’s a huge difference, we’ve always said that playing in the Champions League was crucial,” Di Matteo said. “I don’t know what the future holds, it’s the first time we won and it’s a very difficult competition to win.”

-Nigeria Trends

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