Shanghai is disputing Drogba’s Galatasaray transfer, claiming it still holds the former Chelsea’s striker’s sporting rights. The Chinese club is preparing a case, which it intends to submit to FIFA, according to the BBC.
“The club is deeply shocked,” Shanghai Shenhua said. “Drogba is still a player of Shanghai Shenhua Football Club. The contract between the two parties is still within the period of validity.
“We understand that Drogba is eager to participate in the European Champions League.
“Shanghai Shenhua Football Club and Drogba, on 1 July, 2012, officially signed a formal contract for a period of two-and-a-half years. The club has acted in accordance with this contract and has effectively fulfilled the responsibilities and obligations of the club. Shanghai Shenhua is prepared to collate all the evidence and information and submit it to FIFA in order to protect its interests.”
On Monday, Galatasaray announced that it had reached an agreement to sign the 34-year-old. He expects to join his new club after the Africa Cup of Nations, but Shanghai’s reaction has cast doubt on the transfer. Drogba intends to help Galatasaray compete for domestic and European honors this season.
“The opportunity to play for this great club was an offer that I could not turn down,” Drogba said through his management company’s Twitter account. “I am looking forward to playing in the [UEFA] Champions League again, against the best clubs in Europe.”
The Turkish transfer window for shuts on Jan. 31. Drogba’s fate could rest with FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, or the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). There is a possibility that Drogba will not complete his Galatasaray transfer in time to participate in his new team’s Champions League Round-of-16 matchup against FC Schalke. The first leg is on Feb. 20, and transfer disputes can take a long time to come to a resolution.