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Didier Drogba is considering a reunion with former mentor Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
The 34-year-old is wanted by the Spanish champions and talks have taken place between representatives of the two parties over a two-year contract.
The hero of Chelsea’s Champions League triumph was brought to Stamford Bridge by Mourinho in 2004 and was on the Portuguese’s wish-list last year, only for talks to falter over his transfer valuation.
However, now that Mourinho has total control of transfers at the Bernabeu and Drogba is a free agent, the deal is back on.
The Ivory Coast striker has drawn interest from clubs in Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia, while a lucrative offer from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua was seemingly on the verge of being accepted.
However, in-fighting at the Chinese club, and talk of Argentine coach Sergio Batista replacing caretaker player-boss Nicolas Anelka, are giving Drogba second thoughts.
Mourinho wants to deliver the Champions League for Real and the prospect of another European adventure – even as a bit-part player – may be enough to sway Drogba.
Meanwhile, another of Chelsea’s Champions League heroes, Petr Cech, has signed a new four-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
The Czech keeper has already played more games for Chelsea than any overseas player – 369. – Daily Mail