Drogba looks for cup compromise

The striker is set to join up with the Ivory Coast on January 10,

two weeks before the tournament starts, and return to Stamford

Bridge at the end of the month. However the 31-year-old revealed

that he intends to speak to national team manager Vahid Halihodzic

about delaying joining up with the rest of the squad. The Italian

will no doubt want his star striker, who scored twice against

Everton on Saturday, to remain for as long as possible before

departing for Angola especially after a run of four games without a

win in all competitions. “I will speak to the national team manager

and then try to speak as well with Carlo Ancelotti to find the best

deal for us,” he told Sunday Mirror. “It’s going to be difficult to

leave, of course, Chelsea are paying my wages, and just for that

it’s going to be difficult to go – and to for a month as well. It’s

tough. “But I think they understand we players have no choice. We

have to go because we have to represent our countries. “We want to

be here with Chelsea but at the same time we have to go. We are in

between, it’s a difficult decision to make but we know what we have

to do. “The good thing is that the club respects that. They have

shown a lot of respect for the African players and I hope my team

will be able to cope while we are away.” The frontman was quick to

highlight that if the Blues falter while he and the likes of

Michael Essien, Salomon Kalou and John Obi Mikel are away he will

not be afraid to phone them and say his piece. “I hope they can

stay top of the table. I will follow us from afar and I will give

them some phone calls if we lose points.” With Chelsea holding

hopes of challenging at home and abroad this term and Ivory Coast

having safely qualified for the World Cup next summer Drogba faces

a busy schedule but he admits he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s a lot of football to play but a few years ago I was in the

Second Division in France so this kind of season is really exciting

for me,” he highlighted. “At Chelsea we are competing for the

league and Champions League and FA Cup so it’s an exciting season

rather than a difficult one.”