Atletico de Kolkata have made an approach to sign Didier Drogba as their marquee player for the Season 2 of the Indian Super League (ISL) but the Chelsea legend, in all likelihood, will ply his trade in the Major League Soccer (MLS). The defending ISL champions, however, have made an offer of $1 million plus bonuses, according to reports in the Evening Standard. Atletico Kolkata co-owner Utsav Parekh has confirmed the approach.
“Yes, Drogba is a target and we’ve made an approach. Nothing has been finalised yet,” Parekh told The Indian Express. But the chances of the Ivorian centre-forward, who had 100 goals in 226 appearances for the Blues, coming to India look slim. According to Baljit Rihal, a UK-based agent, MLS could be Drogba’s next destination. “Atletico Kolkata asked me to enquire about Drogba as an intermediary, but it seems that the offer won’t get accepted. His representatives have seen the offer but have not responded at all. Looks like the MLS is a likely destination,” Rihal was quoted as saying by Firstpost.
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Drogba is now a free agent after serving his contract with Chelsea last term. Still he’s too big a player to play in India at this stage of his career. He’s more likely to follow in his friend Frank Lampard’s footsteps. According to an ESPN FC report, he already has an offer from the Chicago Fire.
ISL had Alessandro Del Piero last season. The Italian was Delhi Dynamos marquee signing but he came via Australia, on the last legs of his career. The franchise this year has roped in Roberto Carlos. Like Del Piero, the former Brazilian international, too, is on the verge of retirement. Drogba, on the other hand, has just finished his stint at the highest level. MLS is the next step.