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SBD Global/June 19, 2012/International Football

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba To Sign With Shanghai Shenhua

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, left, is set to become China's highest paid player.
Shanghai Shenhua FC have offered Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba £200,000 ($314,000) a week to play for the club, a salary that "would make him the best paid player in China," according to the AFP. The two sides have "already an reached agreement in principle" for a 2.5-year contract. The proposed salary would "exceed the pay" of Drogba's former Chelsea teammate and Shenhua's top player, Nicolas Anelka who makes €200,000 ($291,000) a week. Shenhua declined to comment. An official said that Drogba "would make the announcement himself if he decided to sign." The "proposed deal" also includes Drogba becoming a spokesperson for a Chinese online gaming company. Anelka has a similar arrangement that pays him $3.4M to "endorse an online game" developed by Internet company The9, whose Chair, Zhu Jun, is also the chief investor in Shenhua (AFP, 6/18). The XINHUA NEWS AGENCY reported that Shenhua boss Zhu Jun confirmed that Drogba "will join the club." Zhu said the club would not make a formal announcement until Drogba releases  it "on his personal website." Zhu did not release details on the deal, and did not confirm the salary. Zhu: "I have never mentioned the price on my Weibo [Twitter]" (XINHUA, 6/18).
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