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Sun Apr 20 08:23:40 SAST 2014

Chelsea look to lure Drogba with new contract

Sapa-AP | 21 May, 2012 07:160 Comments
Didier Drogba celebrates Chelsea's victory in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in Munich on Saturday. The Blues are keen to start new contract negotiations with the Ivorian striker

CHELSEA chairman Bruce Buck says the club will hold talks with Didier Drogba about a new contract next week and hopes to appoint a permanent manager "sooner rather than later".

Drogba went through the full gamut of emotions, from hero, to villain, to man of the match on the night he delivered Chelsea's first Champions League title.

Drogba's dramatic, perfect header in the 88th minute against Bayern Munich levelled scores 1-1 to send the final into extra time.

He then gave away a needless extra-time penalty but was relieved to see goalkeeper Petr Cech save it, before driving home the final spot-kick in the shootout to win the title.

"When we have this guy in goal you have to believe," Drogba said.

"It was written, I think, a long time ago. I want to dedicate this cup to all the managers we've had before, all the players I've played with before.

"They (Chelsea players) never give up until the end. This team is amazing."

Drogba was on his knees, praying in the middle circle, as Bastian Schweinsteiger walked to the spot to take his team's last penalty.

Schweinsteiger hit the post and Drogba then stepped up for the decisive effort.

Facing the hostile Bayern crowd and Manuel Neuer - the Bayern goalkeeper who had already saved Juan Mata's first shot - Drogba looked calm.

He took a short run-up and drove the ball inside the right post after sending Neuer the wrong way, and Chelsea had the title they have strived to win since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international joined the west London club from Marseille in 2004.

Buck said yesterday Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay is likely "to sit down with his (Drogba's) agent this week and we'll see where it goes".

Buck added that the club intends to appoint a permanent manager prior to the pre-season tour of the USA, which is due to start in Seattle on July 18.

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