Drogba tweeted out his reply on Wednesday afternoon after a earlier report from L’Equipe indicated he had already told Impact investor/operator Joey Saputo about his desire to return to London and help out his former club.
Drogba’s denial continues weeks of speculation surrounding his future in the wake of José Mourinho’s departure from Stamford Bridge last month.
Lovely to receive these messages but I have not yet announced my retirement & am still in discussion with @impactmontreal about my future.
The former Côte d’Ivoire captain joined Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and Hiddink to watch the victory over Sunderland on Dec. 19. The sight of the three men together sparked dialogue about Drogba’s future with the MLS side and his potential inclusion on Hiddink’s coaching staff.
Hiddink batted down much of the speculation, while the Impact outlined its desire to retain a player who scored 11 goals in 11 regular-season matches and steered the club into the MLS playoffs last year.
Drogba’s contractual obligations with the Impact run through the end of the 2016 season. It is unknown at the moment how or whether Chelsea and the Impact plan to sort out those potential wrangles in order to clear Drogba’s way to join Hiddink.
If everything proceeds according to plan, then Drogba is expected to link up with Chelsea in time for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain next month, according to L’Equipe.
This story has been updated to reflect Drogba’s response.