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Dubai: Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona has played down talk of Didier Drogba joining the club after reports suggested they were set to hijack Shanghai Shenua’s €10 million (Dh45.7 million) bid for the striker.
Drogba, 34, of the Ivory Coast, became a free agent after Chelsea’s Uefa Champions League triumph last month and has since been linked to a big move to China for £300,000 (Dh1.69 million) a week. That was until the Dubai-based Al Wasl officially joined the race to land his signature this week.
But speaking ahead of Al Wasl’s GCC Champions League final, Maradona said he doubted Al Wasl had the funds to land the player.
Maradona said: “If we had a large budget yes it is possible to attract someone like Drogba. But I don’t think the budget in mind is available here.
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“I’ve read a lot about Drogba’s future and I’ve come to believe he’s on the verge of signing for that Chinese team who have offered him millions. I don’t think we can match those figures.”
Maradona went on to joke that he was getting sick of hearing Drogba’s name saying he’s heard it so much recently he actually has to look for him in the dressing room to make sure he’s not already here. Laughs aside, El Diego added: “I joke but I’m serious, having Drogba at Al Wasl is a dream and if it does come true it will be the best thing ever.”
Asked if Al Wasl needed a trophy signing, having failed to land a household name since Maradona’s ARRIVAL, he said: “When my son-in-law Sergio Aguero came here to visit, I had him attend training for 20 minutes and in that time he scored five goals.
“The benefit of a strong player would really make a difference but we don’t have the environment to attract big names and it’s perhaps not imperative to attract the names mentioned.”