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May 30, 2012

Shenhua unveil Batista, chase Drogba

Shanghai Shenhua have unveiled former Argentina coach Sergio Batista as their new manager, who confirmed the club's pursuit of out-of-contract Chelsea forward Didier Drogba.

Shenhua were on the hunt for a new boss after Jean Tigana left the post in April, with the Frenchman paying the price for a poor start to the Chinese Super League season.

On Wednesday morning, the Oriental Sports Daily reported Batista will replace Tigana, and he has now been officially confirmed as their new boss.

Batista will have Nicolas Anelka at his disposal, the striker having joined Shenhua from Chelsea in the January transfer window. Shenhua are currently ninth in the Chinese Super League table after a rare win against Guizhou Renhe on Sunday.

However, first priority for the club and new manager is to work on confirming a deal for Drogba. The Ivorian has been linked with a move to the club for some time and has confirmed that he will depart Stamford Bridge this summer.

"The people from the club are doing the best things to get Drogba here. I think every coach in the world wants to get Drogba on the team and I hope everything is okay," Batista told reporters.

Regarding Anelka, Batista was hoping to call upon the Frenchman's experience as he steps back into a regular playing role after a brief spell on the coaching staff.

"It's another moment. He's a player. I'm open to hear Anelka and all the players on the team speak about what's happening on the field. Obviously, the final decision is from the coach.

"Anelka can give to all the players his experience, on the field and off the field. I don't want Anelka to play only to score goals. He is one of the best players in the world, but I want to keep him back on the field to play with his partners on the team."

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