(Reuters) – Didier Drogba indicated on Sunday that he will be returning to Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact, effectively ending speculation that he could be headed back to his former club Chelsea.
The prolific striker tweeted that he was “on way to Qatar to do some preparation work for pre-season”. The MLS season starts in March.
Drogba, 37, joined the Impact in July and scored 11 goals in 11 games during the regular season, helping the team to a 7-3-1 record.
He is contracted until the end of this year. However, there have been multiple reports that Drogba has been in talks with Chelsea and the club’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich to join their coaching staff and leave his playing days behind him.
Drogba sat in the stands with Abramovich and manager Guus Hiddink during a Chelsea match in December, further fuelling speculation he was headed back to Stamford Bridge.
Montreal confirmed that Drogba was indeed interesting in helping Chelsea, but the former Ivory Coast striker denied that he was ready to retire.
Drogba spent nine seasons with Chelsea, scoring 164 goals across all competitions and leading the English Premier League club to their first ever UEFA Champions League title.
He also had spells China’s Shanghai Shenhua and in Turkey with Galatasaray.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes/Andrew Both)