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Jul 24, 2014

Chelsea favour Didier Drogba return

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has admitted he is keen on resigning former striker Didier Drogba.

Chelsea would welcome back Didier Drogba if a deal can be worked out, Jose Mourinho said on Thursday, with the Blues manager insisting that "Didier belongs to us."

Drogba's contract at Galatasaray expired at the end of last season and he is currently a free agent.

The 36-year-old striker spent eight years at Stamford Bridge from 2004-2012 and scored the equaliser and winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final. He then left for one-year stints in China and Turkey.

But Drogba is leaning toward rejoining the Blues rather than accepting an offer to play for Juventus or in Major League Soccer, according to The Telegraph, and Mourinho said Chelsea would love to have him.

"We want to win matches and win titles, and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe, who is still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League, and we are thinking about it in a non-emotional way," said Mourinho.

"If you bring him back, it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no.

"If I bring him back -- and the decision has to be made soon, because I want to close the dressing-room door -- it is because as a player he has certain qualities to make the team stronger."

Mourinho also said Drogba has the full support of owner Roman Abramovich, and revealed the personal attachments the Russian billionaire has toward his players.

"Mr Abramovich does not speak a lot," Mourinho said. "But as you can imagine, he is very intelligent and he feels that people belong to the club. We feel that Didier belongs to us."

Although Chelsea said farewell to 36-year-old talisman Frank Lampard earlier this summer, Mourinho said Drogba's age would not greatly affect his spot on the squad.

"I was not a top professional player," said Mourinho. "I communicate a lot with players and former players to understand the situation better.

"When they become older, the point is not to lose quality as a player, it is about how they recover from match to match.

"A young kid plays today and in 48 hours is ready to play the next game. And in a season can play 50 matches. Between 20 something and 30, they are the same good players, same football brains. It is important how they recover from match to match.

"With Didier's profile, being a squad player I think could be important for any team. And because we know his heart is pushing him to where he feels he belongs, and because our boss has this big feeling towards him, we are thinking about the possibility."

Lampard signed this week for New York City FC, but Mourinho said he expects Chelsea's all-time leading goal scorer to return to Chelsea after his playing career concludes.

"The way Mr Abramovich approached the Frank Lampard situation is amazing," said Mourinho. "'You go if you want to go, you come back if you want to come back. And you come back the way you want -- to be an assistant, to be an ambassador, to be a director to be a coach, to be an assistant coach.' That is fantastic.

"I have a message for Frank. Good luck and see you back at Chelsea in a couple of years."

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