The former Chelsea star wants Shanghai Shenhua to terminate his contract as a trio of Italian clubs — AC Milan, Lazio and Juventus — jockey for his signature, Football Italia reports.
“The Ivory Coast hitman has reportedly sent a letter to Shanghai Shenhua asking for his deal to be terminated,” the report says.
“This opens the door to a free transfer back to Europe, although the stumbling block remains his wage demand. Sky Sport Italia suggests Drogba has slightly lowered his expectations, so he would want €4m from now until the end of the season, plus a further €6m for the 2013-14 campaign.”
Drogba joined Shanghai Shenhua last summer after leading Chelsea to FA Cup and UEFA Champions League glory. He scored eight goals in 11 Chinese Super League games, but Shanghai struggled and finished ninth in the 16-team CSL.
Instability has hampered Shanghai Shenhua for much of Drogba’s time there. A boardroom dispute saw some players go unpaid and morale is reportedly low within the squad. Rumors saying the star goal-scorer wants to leave the club are rife, prompting several European clubs to inquire about his availability. Drogba has publicly denied the rumors, but they persist nonetheless.
Juventus and Lazio are first and third respectively in the race for the Serie A (Italian first division) title, while Milan lags well behind. Signing a player of Drogba’s experience and ability would enhance any team’s prospects and add a bit of star power to its ranks. The 34-year-old would join a new club on a free transfer and sign an 18-month contract. His presence wouldn’t pose too much of a financial burden for these clubs in the cash-strapped Italian top flight.