Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba To Sign With Shanghai Shenhua
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).