Transfer talk

Shanghai target Drogba after Anelka

December 12, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua have set their sights on Didier Drogba after announcing a deal to sign Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka on Monday.

Didier Drogba
GettyImagesDidier Drogba: Out of contract in the summer

• Shanghai Shenhua sign Anelka
• Anelka agrees terms for China move

Anelka will join Shenhua in January on a two-year deal and club director Zhou Jun says he is ready to spend big once again to add Ivory Coast international Drogba to his squad.

"Drogba is an excellent player. We got in touch with him two weeks ago," Zhou told Reuters. "From our club's perspective, we have this to say - if he is willing to come, we will definitely welcome him."

Drogba, 33, is out of contract in the summer and money appears to be no barrier to a proposed deal, with Zhou revealing that Anelka, 32, will be earning an excellent wage at Shenhua.

"People are aware of Anelka's Chelsea yearly salary which is around €5.8 million, so when he comes to China it definitely won't be below this figure," he said.

Zhou said he also expects former Bordeaux coach Jean Tigana to arrive as manager in January, and stressed that bringing in foreign talent, such as Anelka and Drogba, was essential for the growth of Chinese football.

"We needed to bring in the good stuff from foreign countries for us to learn from," Zhou explained. "Tigana, from the looks of it currently, is not a big problem.

"When he was last in Shanghai he said the next time he is seen there it would be to coach Shenhua Football Club, so if you see Tigana at Shanghai International Airport you know he's our coach."

Shanghai Shenhua finished 11th in the Chinese Super League last year.