MLS, Impact working together on Didier Drogba situation
Montreal Impact forward Didier Drogba celebrates after scoring on a free kick against Colorado Rapids in the first half of an MLS soccer match in Commerce City, Colo., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 14, 2016 9:58PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 14, 2016 10:01PM EST
BALTIMORE -- MLS commissioner Don Garber says talks continue on the future of Montreal Impact star striker Didier Drogba.
The 37-year-old from the Ivory Coast, who has one more year on his deal with the Impact, reportedly has been mulling over rejoining Chelsea as a member of its coaching staff.
"Everybody's entitled to end their career when they're ready to," Garber told reporters at the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday. "But he is under contract and we're hopeful that he's back in uniform and ready to play."
A report last week in L'Equipe, a prominent French sports publication, cited Canadian sources in saying Drogba had called the Impact to announce his retirement. The MLS team disputed that, as did the player himself.
"Lovely to receive these messages but I have not yet announced my retirement & am still in discussion with @impactmontreal about my future," Drogba tweeted.
Garber said the league and Impact were working together on the Drogba case.
Drogba joined the Impact mid-season in 2015, wasting little time making his presence felt.
"Obviously Didier brought a lot to this club -- on and off the field," said head coach Mauro Biello. "It's a player that brought lots of goals but also helped bring the team together in terms of his leadership qualities.
"The groups are talking. Hopefully they can come to a resolution."
Montreal took a pair of forwards in the second round of the draft: Belize international Michael Salazar from Cal-Riverside and Keegan Smith from the University of San Diego.
Drogba was seen Dec. 19 in the stands at Chelsea alongside club owner Roman Abramovich and interim manager Guus Hiddink during against Sunderland. Chelsea is looking to steady the ship in the wake of a disastrous start to the English season that saw manager Jose Mourinho fired.
On Dec. 20, Hiddink said there was no change in the situation regarding Drogba taking up a role at Chelsea.
The Impact open training camp Jan. 26.