Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Drogba's agent says Galaxy possible
By Scott French
Didier Drogba's agent says the "L.A. Galaxy are a possibility" in terms of where his client could next sign.
If David Beckham decides his future is in France, might Didier Drogba fill his shoes?
Drogba's agent suggested it could happen after the Ivorian striker declined to extend his contract with English Premier League giant Chelsea.
Drogba, 33, among the world's elite forwards, is expected to sign in Russia or Qatar, but Thierno Seydi, his Senegal-based agent, said he could end up with the Galaxy.
“L.A. Galaxy are a possibility, among many others,” Seydi said, in comments published Tuesday in British tabloid The Sun. “He has been linked with Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, as they pay well. But neither Didier nor I have had an offer from them.”
The Galaxy has been linked in the media with many top players, including Ronaldinho, Frank Lampard, Alessandro Del Piero, Luca Toni, Guti -- and now German star Michael Ballack, too, according to a report in German tabloid Berliner Kurier. The club does not comment on potential signings and, unlike many top European clubs, does not campaign through the media.
Beckham's five-year contract with the Galaxy expires in December, and he'll decide after the club's postseason tour of Asia and Australia whether to re-sign with L.A., accept offers from Paris Saint-Germain or English club Tottenham or retire. He is not expected to retire.
Drogba on Tuesday declined an offer from London-based Chelsea.
“Didier has had the offer of a one-year extension from Chelsea. That does not suit us,” Seydi said. “We know what we want, where we want to go and what offers we have. AC Milan came in for Didier on loan with an option to buy, but I said no straight away. Their offer did not interest us.
“At Didier's age, he has nothing left to prove as a playeer. He will go where he is offered the most money. It could be the United States, Russia, Qatar or somewhere else in Asia. Once you are in well into your 30s, you have to to to a club where you can be certain you'll be able to play your bills.”
To pay his bills, Drogba is making $2.25 million in the final season of his contract at Chelsea. He has scored 146 goals in seven years with the Blues. He netted 37 in 44 games in 2009-10 but has scored just 15 times in 56 games since and has just two in 10 games this season.
IMPACT LOVE RICKETTS: Montreal's goalkeeper coach, former Chivas USA netminder Preston Burpo, gushed to the league's website on Donovan Ricketts, whom the expansion side acquired in a trade Monday from the Galaxy.
“He's our guy. He's big-time,” Burpo said. “He’s played in Europe, he’s got international experience. Over the last few years, I still think that he’s one of the best 'keepers in the league. ... Everything about this guy is a perfect fit for an expansion team. We need our players to look behind them and be confident, and I think we can achieve that with Donovan.”
WORTH NOTING: Midfielder Chris Birchall missed the Galaxy's postseason trip to deal because of personal matters, the team said. ... Organizers say 20,000 tickets have been sold for Wednesday's Galaxy-Indonesia national team match in Jakarta, half the break-even number in a 76,000-seat venue. The game begins at 4 a.m. PT and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel. ... Jakarta Police planned to close streets surrounding Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Tuesday night, in advance of the Galaxy's game against Indonesia's national team, and simplify the Galaxy's short bus ride from their hotel. Some 2,819 police officers will be deployed around the ground. ... Former Galaxy head coach Octavio Zambrano -- he was in charge for the 24-8 campaign in 1998 -- is now in charge of Colombian second-division club Deportivo Pereira. The Ecuadoran Zambrano has been an assistant coach at Kansas City since 2009.