Jose Mourinho has revealed that he expects Didier Drogba to return to Chelsea in some capacity in the future. The Portuguese boss brought Drogba to Stamford Bridge in 2004 during his first spell in charge of the London club and has maintained a close relationship with the Ivorian. Drogba went onto become a Chelsea legend and scored a dramatic equalizer and then the winning penalty to deliver the club a first ever European Cup, against Bayern Munich in 2012.
That was to be his last kick in a Blues shirt before leaving for China and a short, ill-fated spell with Shanghai Shenhua. The 35-year-old striker signed for Turkish champions for the second half of last season and has a year remaining on his contract in Istanbul. But Mourinho believes it is only a matter of time before Drogba will be back at Chelsea.
"Drogba is worshipped at this club and this is perfectly normal,” Mourinho told Portuguese sports daily A Bola. “I think one day he'll return to Chelsea. He is a very important player in Chelsea's history and will always be in the memory of the fans, the management, the owner and his teammates. It is normal that he will have a future at Chelsea. As a coach? I do not know.”
Drogba has visited Chelsea’s Cobham training ground on several occasions since leaving the club, including as recently as earlier this month. While there has been no suggestion from either Mourinho or Drogba that he could return as a player, the Daily Express believes that the scenario is a possibility. Certainly a striker is wanted by Mourinho as his continued pursuit of Wayne Rooney shows, but it is difficult to envisage it being Drogba, either this summer or next.
While Mourinho claims that Rooney is the only target, Chelsea could again find they lack a commanding deep midfield presence with their current squad. John Mikel Obi once more proved with Nigeria at the Confederations Cup that he is better suited to a more advanced role and the same has also always been true of the returning Michael Essien, while injuries have also taken their toll on the Ghanaian.
Chelsea have been linked with Daniele de Rossi and Luiz Gustavo in recent weeks and now the Daily Mirror reports that Mourinho is keen on a reunion with Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira. With Madrid having signed Asier Illarramendi and being strongly linked with a move for Sevilla’s Geoffrey Kondogbia, there is a possibility that Germany international Khedira could be made available. The Mirror believes Madrid would ask for around £20 million.
There has also been plenty of speculation in recent days that David Luiz could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge with Bayern Munich said to have joined Barcelona in expressing an interest. But Bayern boss Pep Guardiola has dismissed such talk, claiming he is not in the market for a new center-back, despite a poor defensive performance in the 4-2 German Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
“David Luiz will not be coming to Munich," he said, according to The Guardian. "I have four, five central defenders who I am very pleased with. There are no excuses for that defeat. We have seen how hard it is to win all the time. We didn't have Franck [Ribery] and he is a very important player for us. It hurt us that he could not play."