Chelsea's Didier Drogba in action during their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London, Britain, 12 December 2011.
Shanghai Shenhua indicated yesterday that the club may fail to bring Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to China due to the Ivorian's demands.
Zhou Jun, Shenhua's board member, said the club wanted to bring the forward to the Chinese Super League in the latter half of this year but negotiations with his agent have not gone well.
"Chances are slim," Zhou told a Shanghai newspaper yesterday. "Look at Drogba's recent performances, he is in excellent shape. The better he plays now, the harder it will be for us to get him as he will set more conditions."
Drogba is now at the African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, where his Ivory Coast team has reached the quarterfinals.
Shenhua's plan was to sign Drogba before the winter transfer window closed but the 33-year-old's decision not to leave Chelsea in the winter upset those calculations, Zhou said. "He now has more time to consider the transfer. Once he becomes a free agent in May, more clubs will join the fray, which will make it harder for us to sign him."
But Zhou insisted the club would not give up on Drogba until July.
Zhu Jun, Shenhua's chief investor, who broadcast Drogba's ex-Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka's transfer on his microblog, also said that talks on Drogba were deadlocked. "Why are there so many terms?!" Zhu wrote on his microblog on Wednesday. "We may not be able to fulfill Chinese fans' expectations."