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Report: Fire among teams in pursuit as Drogba receives MLS contract offer

Didier Drogba Chelsea 28

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

From Giovani Dos Santos to Andrea Pirlo to Sebastian Giovinco, MLS has added a number of big names this year and the league is reportedly hoping to sign another in the near future.

ESPN FC reported on Friday that MLS has offered a contract to Didier Drogba, the 37-year-old striker who just helped Chelsea win the Premier League crown. Several MLS clubs are said to be interested in landing the former Ivory Coast international, but it is the Chicago Fire who are reportedly in pole position to acquire Drogba should he sign with the league. An unidentified Qatari outfit is also believed to be in pursuit.

Currently a free agent, Drogba has been offered an 18-month contract by MLS that is estimated to be worth $2.5 million a year. The Fire have all three of their Designated Player slots filled, but could add Drogba if they buy down the salary of someone like David Accam or Kennedy Igboananike using the new Targeted Allocation Money mechanism.

The prolific forward, who has been linked with a move to MLS on a number of occasions in recent years, has spent almost his entire career in Europe. Drogba has won a number of titles on that side of the pond, including the UEFA Champions League, and is known for his powerful style of play and goal-scoring exploits.

Drogba has enjoyed plenty of success at the international level, too. He is Ivory Coast’s all-time leading scorer with 65 goals in 104 appearances, and appeared in three World Cups before announcing his international retirement last August.

Drogba is coming off a campaign with Chelsea in which he helped it win the Premier League title by scoring four goals in 28 appearances.

If he were to sign with MLS, Drogba would be the latest recognizable player to do so in 2015. Several other notable names have joined MLS this season, including Pirlo, Giovinco, Frank Lampard, and Steven Gerrard.

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What do you think about MLS reportedly offering Drogba a contract? How big of a coup would he be for the Fire if they landed him? How many goals could you see Drogba scoring in an MLS season?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I really hope he comes to CHI toen because we are the team who really needs him and can he play Wednesday we really need to win the Open Cup please Fire just make him an offer he can”t refuse.

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  2. Agree that Drogba was playing important minutes for the champions of the English Premier League mere months ago. Is EPL a retirement league? Drogba remains a gifted striker, and also that there are probably several teams in EPL that would love to sign him or Pirlo anytime. (don’t know about the salaries though, and don’t really care).

    I just think all these “names” coming (and more to come) are raising the profile of the league, and it will slowly move up whereby younger and better players will start coming over more and more – we should be happy about the progress! This type of players signing gives some casual fans an added reason to attend a Fire game – don’t believe there has been much there recently?…

    Glad he is coming over, and hopefully MLS brings in more younger players going forward – as revenue and interest grows- they will.

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  3. U don’t know what ur talking about. There are probably several teams in EPL that would love to sign either player at similar salaries.

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  4. I said, Drogba is a discard and Pirlo is a discard, so they come to MLS to retire because no good team is going to hire them. That’s why this MLS league is a circus show. I do praise Giovani’s signing as he is a world class player at the top of his game. What was wrong with that?

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  5. 2 months ago Drogba was playing important minutes for the champions of the English Premier League. Is EPL a retirement league? Drogba remains a ridiculously gifted striker. How can anybody seriously complain about this type of talent entering MLS.

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  6. I flipping love Drogba and he will make the Fire competitive. The Fire have been able to create chances but have lacked the ability to finish. Drogba will finish, he will free up space for Magee and raise the confidence of the entire team. He will make the Fire watchable again and most importantly, score goals.

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  7. As a Fire fan and an MLS fan, I hope this happens. The Fire need to score more, and even at 37, as the Special One certainly knew, Drogba is a game changer. I know the retirement league image still persists, but MLS fans know that there is a lot of very good young talent in this league, too, and knowledgeable soccer fans know that Ryan Giggs played for Man U at 40. This particular signing will bring Chelsea fans to Fire games all over the league, and I think having one of West Africa’s best ever will help David Accam’s development, too, increasing his eventual sale value..

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  8. Why did the goof? Those are good players and I don’t think the Fire is paying them a fortune. Perhaps they’ve underperformed, but S happens. Drogba will pay HUGE dividends and add butt in seats n sell lots of jerseys, also probably good for at least 10 goals for remainder of this season.

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  9. Drogba will be subject to a blind draw and end up at a more influential MLS club. But seriously, this potential signing is a huge indication of how shambolic the Fire front office is. They signed Accam and Igboananike as DPs in the off-season as attacking options. I guessing they are admitting they goofed.

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  10. OK, remind me – why do some DPs (Gerrard, Dos Santos) go directly to a team, while others sign first and get “assigned ” later?

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    • actually the fire have two dps that are young and accam is on the cusp of greatness. stop being so negative. the publicity alone is worth drogba signing

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  11. Are you serious? WHY? What is with these over the hill former stars? More players in their or near their prime. I would take anyone through 32ish not a 37 who can’t go a full ’90 every week. This utterly DISGUSTS me. So much for teams not raising the salary cap 1 or 2 million, but paying over the hill stars more than that. If I was a young player, I would go abroad.

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  12. That’s what the league needs-more 40 olds…NOT.

    More Giovincos, less Gerrards and Dogba’s, please.

    And the headline that “MLS” has made Drogba an offer (as opposed to, you know, a club), still baffles me, after all these years. Then, the cartel, the MLS, gets to “distribute” that lucky player, maybe they even have a blind draw, you know…

    I’m sorry, but there’s something seriously rotten in Denmark…I wonder how long before the balloon explodes…oh, wait, I forgot we first have to wait for the league to become a top 10 league in world in 2020…

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    • All I care about is that the Fire of all teams are adding a fourth DP, and they’re paying a good chunk of money for him. As long as the lesser known teams keep doing that, I’m willing to overlook the ages.

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    • Why did you say top 10 league when you know that isn’t what they are targeting?
      You think you are doing a good job whining and trying to demean MLS fans?
      Putting us all in our place?

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    • Did you see Gerrard perform last night? That boy came to MLS to play, and he’s got serious quality.

      I’m not saying that Drogba will be the same type of signing, but gone are the days when stars would come literally for a vacation (re: Lothar Matthaus, Luis Hernandez, etc.)

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      • Being a retirement league is taking a step back. Drogba at 32 is a step forward. Dos Santos or Chicha new 8s a step forward. Drogba at 37/38 is a step back.

      • The “step forward” or “step back” will be determined by the value a signing renders.

        The name has value. If he doesn’t produce on the field, the fan interest fizzles and the guy is raffled on.

        Drogba probably assumes – like all seem to – that MLS is easy, and he’ll be able to dominate, even at age 37. Even with the Chicago Fire. IMHO, it won’t take long for MLS to disabuse him of that notion. I do think Gerrard has a much better chance than some of continuing to contribute just because there’s a lot of vets who have done well with LA Galaxy and Bruce Arena is a good enough manager to manage his minutes and keep putting him in plus situations, but can a Drogba come in and carry his team? Doubtful.

        That stuff comes out in the wash. It’ll either work, or it won’t.

      • I could not agree more. I said, Drogba is a discard and Pirlo is a discard, so they come to MLS to retire because no good team is going to hire them. That’s why this MLS league is a circus show. I do praise Giovani’s signing as he is a world class player at the top of his game.

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