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Didier Drogba's Chelsea return complicated by MLS contract rules

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Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

There was a bit of news going around social media earlier this Friday, claiming to be sourced from AS and talking about Drogba deciding to retire and join the Chelsea coaching staff.  While I could not find the actual source for this, such a development would not be surprising given the complicated contract rules one has to deal with when conducting business with MLS clubs.

Drogba may be playing for the Montreal Impact, but his contract is actually held by the league itself.  If Chelsea are to sign Didier in any capacity, we would have to negotiate his release with MLS, and apparently they are playing a bit of hardball.  Which isn't surprising, considering that one of the ways MLS tries to build an audience is by signing world famous stars like Drogba (or Beckham or Thierry Henry or Pirlo or Lampard, etc.).

...while Drogba's club Montreal Impact appear to be resigning themselves to the fact the striker will not be starting next season with them, Major League Soccer are playing hardball over the 37-year-old's contract. Unless Drogba announces his playing retirement, Chelsea must come to an agreement with MLS officials to release him a year early from his Montreal deal...

Chelsea are still hopeful of finding an agreement that will let Drogba start work with interim manager Guus Hiddink, but negotiations with MLS have so far been slow and tough.

-source: Telegraph

Since the American and European league seasons do not coincide, there is always a possibility of figuring out a deal that would let Drogba work with both Chelsea and Montreal throughout the year, satisfying the desires of both fanbases to a certain extent.  But as it often happens in real life, one does not get to have their cake and eat it, too, and Drogba could very well have to make a hard decision between honoring his Montreal contract (which runs for another season) or returning to Chelsea now (as opposed to any point in the future).

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