Former Chelsea star at centre of tug-of-war between Galatasaray and Chinese Super League outfit.
Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua have claimed that star striker Didier Drogba is still their player and expressed outrage that Galatasaray have announced the signing of the ex-Chelsea forward.
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The Turkish league leaders and Drogba himself said earlier this week that the Ivory Coast star, who is currently at the African Cup of Nations, had signed for Galatasaray, apparently ending a two-and-a-half year deal with the Chinese club.
“Currently, Drogba is still a player of the Shanghai Shenhua Football Club, and the contract between both parties is still within the term of validity,” Shenhua said in a statement on its website.
“The club is deeply shocked by the Galatasaray Football Club’s violation of rules by contacting a player still under contract.”
Shenhua planned to appeal to football’s international governing body FIFA over the matter, the statement said.
“The Shanghai Shenhua Football Club is collating all the evidence and materials and preparing to submit them to FIFA so as to protect the club’s interests and prevent greater losses,” it said.
A spokesman for the club declined to comment.
In a posting on his website, Drogba, 34, who arrived in China last July, gave no clue as to the circumstances surrounding his exit from Shenhua, where he was reportedly earning $300,000 a week.
But Chinese media reported that Drogba had previously asked FIFA to nullify his contract after the club defaulted on payments following a shareholder dispute dating back to September.
Drogba’s teammate at both Shanghai and previously Chelsea, French striker Nicolas Anelka, has also just left Shenhua, joining Italian giants Juventus on loan.
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