Chelsea transfer news: Drogba in, Varane next target? 'new Balotelli' link

All the latest Chelsea transfer news and rumours including Didier Drogba's return and updates on Real Madrid defender and the 'new Mario Balotelli'.

A legend has returned.

At 36-years-old, veteran striker Didier Drogba is not the man who will be competing twice a week in four campaigns for Chelsea.

No, that role will be fulfilled by Diego Costa but the recruitment of Drogba will have been inspired by not only his on-the-field ability (Jose Mourinho has, after all, proclaimed the player to still be one of the best in his position) but also for his off-the-field influence.

In a transfer window where the club have waved goodbye to experienced Blues such as Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, the presence of Drogba alone could be worth his weekly wage.

Drogba committed to a one year contract and said the decision was "easy". He said: "I couldn't turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again. Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club and it has always felt like home."

A photograph of Drogba holding the new shirt for the next season and Mourinho's own comments on the transfer are here.

Also, wonderkid defender Kurt Zouma appears set for a season at Stamford Bridge in order for the coaching staff to monitor his development and ensure he remains available for Mourinho, when first-team opportunities arrive.

Joining him at the club, though, could be Real Madrid star-in-the-making Raphael Varane.

Considering Mourinho's earlier comments that the club's transfer dealings were complete, today it appears it's more of the same as one deal - Drogba - is already down, now there may be another to go.

The Independent write that Varane is "unhappy" at the Santiago Bernabeu as he is on a different payscale to other members of the senior squad.

talkSPORT meanwhile link Chelsea with Carlos Strandberg, a teenager from Sweden who has been called 'the new Balotelli'. He is also coveted by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, but Bild note that Borussia Dortmund may have the upper hand if the player were to move this year, with a £1.2 million bid in the offing.

Elsewhere, and in true Inbetweeners style, Mourinho has been talking about his thumbs-up football friends, with Louis van Gaal and Sam Allardyce both on his Christmas card list, apparently.

And finally, here are two photographs of Mourinho on his bike and two Blues in an ice bath…

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