UPDATE: It's official.
DONE DEAL Didier Drogba is Bleu-blanc-noir >> http://t.co/GfQruB5ASm #IMFC #DrogbaWatchIsOver pic.twitter.com/FUjYsh2TsL— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) July 27, 2015
As we know, Chelsea made Montreal, Canada the base of operations for this summer's preseason tour — a tour of the USA, mind you — training at the Montreal Impact's facilities and taking short flights to the various matches in New York City, Charlotte, NC, and Washington, DC.
On Sunday, Didier Drogba has apparently decided his future, and that future will be in ... Montreal! Hmmm ... hmmmmmm ... hmmmmmmmmm ... quite the coinkydink!
Drogba will be signing with @impactmontreal and @ChicagoFire will be compensated properly. @JeffreyCarlisle with all your details shortly.— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) July 26, 2015
Atlético de Kolkata of the Indian Super League had hoped to lure the Chelsea legend to India with a late bid, but apparently all they have gotten out of that thing is a bit of free publicity. Meanwhile, Chicago Fire were supposedly in the lead for Drogba's services once he had moved to MLS, but instead, Didier will be heading to Canada.
.@Lijien @TaylorTwellman @ChicagoFire Chicago received assets for a player (Drogba) who was never really theirs. I'd say that's not bad.— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) July 27, 2015
MLS has many weird rules, including what's called a discovery list. It's basically a shortlist of up to seven players a team might be interested in signing; think of a shortlist in Football Manager, for example. If another team wants to sign a player on your shortlist, they have to compensate your team. Drogba was on the Fire's list (as much as anyone can "discover" a legend of world football) and Montreal traded over $100,000 of "targeted and regular allocation money" for his rights. Allocation money is yet another bit of MLS weirdness, so let's not get into that.
Drogba still has to agree personal terms, but according to ESPN's report, Montreal is his preferred destination, so it sounds like that should just be a formality. So after teasing Chelsea fans in Chicago and Kolkata, it looks like Didier will make the fans in Montreal the happiest.