Didier Drogba (Photo: Reuters)
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who joined Turkish club Galatasaray during the January transfer window, was approached by the Blues for a return, according to reports.
The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international, who had left Chelsea during the summer transfer window last year after helping them clinch the Champions League, spent six months playing for Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.
However, he decided to join Galatasaray instead of Chelsea and now he has come out with an explanation for the move.
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"The opportunity to play for this great club was an offer that I could not turn down," said Drogba. "I am looking forward to playing in the Champions League again, against the best clubs in Europe."
And that, according to some, was also the reason behind his Chelsea snub.
Not to speak of the fact that financial uncertainties at Shenhua was one of the factors that prompted Drogba to move to Galatasaray.
Like Drogba, French international Nicolas Anelka, who plays for Shenhua, has joined the Italian champions on a five-month loan deal during this January transfer window.
According to the reports in the Chinese media, the striker was proving too expensive for Shenhua, who are struggling to meet his wage demands.
With the financial uncertainties persisting Drogba decided to head back to Europe. He has even been linked to a number of clubs in the recent weeks including AC Milan and Juventus and Chelsea, who he left last summer.
According to the Sportsmail, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich gave a go-ahead to his transfer last week with a deal until the end of the season, with an option for a further year.
The English tabloid adds that the talks were at an advanced stage and Drogba was on the brink of signing before the Thursday's transfer deadline, but he decided to refuse their offer for Galatasaray at the eleventh hour.
Despite the temptation to relive the glory years with his former team-mates, he has decided to sign up for Galatasaray.
Drogba led Chelsea to Champions League triumph last year and his career at Stamford Bridge was decorated with three Premier League titles, four FA Cups.
Turkish side Galatasaray will take on German side Schalke 04 in round two of the Champions League.