Jose Mourinho has confirmed he wants Didier Drogba back at Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea manager has recruited Diego Costa as his new star striker, but he sees Drogba as a valuable member of his squad going into the new campaign.
‘We think about it,’ said Mourinho of Drogba. ‘We want to win matches and win titles and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe.
‘He is still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League and we are thinking about it in a non-emotional way.
‘If you bring him back it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no.
‘If I bring him back, and the decision has to be made soon, it is because as a player he has qualities to make the team stronger. The team is not about the eleven. It is about the different options and as an option I would not say no about the possibility.’
Mourinho might insist any decision to bring back Drogba will be non-emotional but he does recognise the 36-year-old ‘belongs’ to Chelsea. ‘With Didier’s profile, being a squad player I think could be important for any team,’ he said.
‘And because we know his heart is pushing him to where he feels he belongs, and because our boss (owner Roman Abramovich) has this big feeling towards him, we are thinking about the possibility. Mr Abramovich is very intelligent and he feels that people belong to the club. We feel that Didier belongs to us. Is he coming back as a player one more year or a couple more years? Let’s see.’
Mourinho likens Drogba to Frank Lampard, who was unveiled at New York City on Thursday.
He said: ‘The way Mr Abramovich approached the Frank Lampard situation is amazing: “You go if you want to go; you come back if you want to come back. And you come back the way you want — to be an assistant, to be an ambassador, to be a director, to be a coach, to be an assistant coach”. That is fantastic.’