Report: Didier Drogba unlikely to return to Montreal Impact amid Chelsea interest

The former Blues striker is believed to have been offered the chance to return to Stamford Bridge as either a coach or club ambassador.

Only six months after ending his second spell at Chelsea, Didier Drogba is reportedly set to return to Stamford Bridge for a third time.

According to RDS, the 37-year-old Ivorian striker is unlikely to return to the Montreal Impact for the 2016 MLS season after being offered the chance to work in the new Chelsea set-up following Jose Mourinho’s departure.

The Blues legend watched his former side’s 3-1 home win over Sunderland from the Stamford Bridge stands earlier this month alongside chairman Roman Abramovich and interim manager Guus Hiddink, and the latter has since revealed that efforts are being made to bring him back to west London, either as a coach or club ambassador.

Speaking to the Telegraph last week, Hiddink, who managed Drogba during his previous spell as Chelsea interim boss in 2009, said: “I worked with him five or six years ago and I was delighted to have such a professional in the squad.

“He is a legend already in this club, but also outside this club in the world. So it's nice for guys with these big hearts to connect them somehow with the club. But he is playing for Montreal, under contract.

“All the big clubs, and the smaller ones, have these specific guys, figures, who can go into whatever they like – coach, ambassador, manager – but they must be given the opportunity to do so. They give the Chelsea brand a big image, worldwide.”

Montreal later released a brief statement in response to Drogba’s presence at Stamford Bridge, confirming that they were in talks with Chelsea over their star player’s future but doing “everything” they can to ensure that he returns to see out the final 12 months of his contract.

However, having also admitted that the situation is out of their control, it now looks like the Canadian club will be shopping for a new forward this winter.

RDS claims there is just a 10 per cent chance the veteran forward will be back at Stade Saputo for 2016 and that the team have even begun the search for his potential replacement.

Of course, finding someone to fill Drogba’s shoes will be much easier said than done given the impact – no pun intended – he made in Montreal over the second half of last season.

The Designated Player joined the club in July after they acquired his playing rights in a trade with the Chicago Fire and went on to hit 11 goals in just 11 regular season games to help them secure a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

Their season ultimately ended in the Conference Semifinals of the MLS Cup Playoffs with a 4-3 aggregate defeat to the Columbus Crew, and their odds of making it back there next season will take a serious hit if Drogba does indeed head back to England this winter.

The club recently bolstered their striking options with the re-signing of promising 22-year-old Cameron Porter, who made an impressive start to his rookie season before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, but it remains to be seen just what he can offer at the MLS level.

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