Premier League - Drogba future unclear despite exit reports

Didier Drogba's future at Chelsea remains up in the air after reports that he had told team-mates he will leave this summer were dismissed as false.

PA Sport

The Ivory Coast international was quoted saying he informed his team-mates of his decision during the club's open-top bus parade on Monday after leading them to the greatest moment in their history on Saturday night.

"We will no longer be together next season," the 34-year-old said in quotes attributed to France Football magazine.

However, Drogba's representatives have insisted that the quotes 'are not genuine', while Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay maintained that talks over the forward's future remain ongoing.

"Conversations with Didier have been going on for months and still are," Gourlay said.

"He's made it clear he loves Chelsea and loves everything he's achieved at the club."

Drogba has been linked with a big-money move to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua when his Chelsea contract expires this summer.

Despite the denials, the magazine is standing by its article.

The quotes went on to say: "As I decided to leave, I wanted to tell them straight in the eye. Except that I could not do it. They made me crack.

"Even though it's been three years since I said I wanted to leave, I find it hard to admit that it's over with this club - especially as I did not feel like this.

"But I could not see myself sitting on the bench to watch others play when the club plans to set up a new team.

"So that's it - I am preparing for my leap into the unknown. It's going to be another adventure."

A relatively late developer who only signed his first professional contract at 21, Drogba has scored 157 goals for Chelsea since joining from Marseille in 2004.

His final goals were the equaliser in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, and the winning spot-kick in the subsequent penalty shoot-out.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo and Fernando Torres also face uncertain futures with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich taking his time over who he wants to stay in west London.

Gourlay has revealed the club will wait until Di Matteo's contract expires at the end of June before deciding on his future despite the interim manager delivering the Champions League and FA Cup.

On Di Matteo, Gourlay told Chelsea TV: "I know the fans will be pushing for Robbie.

"We're going to look at the season, look at what worked for us, look at the mistakes we made and put them right and take it forward.

"Torres came on when we were behind and played a big part to help us win the Champions League.

"I'd be surprised if Fernando, who's been awesome, didn't want more time on the field - every player does."

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