Drogba charmed by Shanghai move a year before transfer

CHELSEA favourite Didier Drogba admits the seeds for his transfer to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua were sown a year ago during the London club’s pre-season tour of Asia.

Drogba, 34, yesterday confirmed his departure after eight successful seasons with Chelsea and will join former team-mate Nicolas Anelka at the club he believes represents the greatest personal challenge.

“I considered all the offers I have received in the past few weeks, but feel Shanghai Shenhua is the right move for me at this time,” said Drogba.

“I’m looking forward to a new challenge and a new culture. When Chelsea went to China last year, we had a great time and I met some amazing fans.”

One of Drogba’s first appearances, incidentally, could be against Manchester United, against whom the striker made his Chelsea debut in August 2004. United travel to China to play Shenhua on 25 July and defender Rio Ferdinand has already taken to Twitter to express his excitement at the prospect of again competing with his old rival.

“Looking forward to playing Didier Drogba when MUFC [United] play Shanghai Shenhua in Shanghai on 25th July,” Ferdinand tweeted.