Sources are reporting that Ivory Coast international and ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will join Seattle Sounders FC at the end of the European season this summer. Drogba is currently playing for Galatasaray of the Turkish League, where he has scored 11 goals for the club, including two in this season’s UEFA Champions League.
From reliable friend: Extremely trusted sources close to Galatasaray have confirmed Drogba’s move to Seattle at end of season #Sounders
— Mike Standish (@MikeStandish) February 4, 2014
This move is a very interesting one to think about. As of now, Seattle does not have the cap room to make this deal go through, but they may in the near future. They do have the allocation money that was acquired in the Eddie Johnson to DC United trade, as well as a potential buyout of the Shalrie Joseph contract. If Drogba is coming during the summer transfer window, he would only count for approximately a $175,000 cap hit as a DP .
While Seattle does have three designated players already on their books, there could be a way that they could make the deal work while keeping all of their DPs on the roster. They may be able to rework the contract of Osvaldo Alsono to take off the DP tag; that may be require more years on the deal, but Sounders fans will not be disappointed to see that.
Another option could be to sell Obafemi Martins during the window. While this option is probably the least likely to happen, it should be remembered that he was linked to a few Turkish clubs during the January transfer window.
Drogba will be turning 36 in March, so the likelihood of him returning to his goal-scoring form of the past is not great. A move to MLS would not be a surprise as he was in negotiations with the league to join in 2012 when his Chelsea contract expired, eventually signing with Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League. Even at his current age, he is still playing for and contributing to the Ivory Coast National Team as he approaches his 100th cap.
For now, the Sounders are in Arizona preparing for the kickoff of their 2014 season. The club has their first preseason match on Wednesday when they face the San Jose Earthquakes at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.