Didier Drogba has signed for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Didier Drogba signs for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua

The former Chelsea striker, 34, flies out to join his new team-mates in July.

He said: “I have considered all the offers I have received in the past few weeks, but feel that Shanghai Shenhua is the right move for me at this time.”

The Ivory Coast forward’s last act in a Chelsea shirt was scoring the winning penalty in their Champions League final defeat of Bayern Munich in May.

The forward joined Chelsea from Marseille for £24m in the summer of 2004 , becoming one of Jose Mourinho’s first signings.

He helped the Blues to win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups during his eight year spell. In that time he climbed to fourth on the list of Chelsea’s all-time goal-scorers with 157 and is also the club’s leading scorer in European competition with 34.

Drogba joins former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka in Shanghai, who are managed by ex-Argentina boss Sergio Batista.

He added: “I’m looking forward to a new challenge, to experiencing a new culture and excited about developments in the Chinese Super League.

“When Chelsea went to China last year, we had a great time and I met some amazing fans.

“I hope to help promote Chinese football around the world and further improve the links between China and Africa.”

Shanghai Shenhua owner Zhu Jun believes Drogba’s arrival will help cement his club on the football map.

He said: “We have been wanting to sign Didier for a while and are very happy that it has finally happened.

“He is an incredible player, who has won so many trophies in his career. We feel that his experience and ability will be a very valuable asset to our squad.

“Shanghai is one of the most influential cities in the world and we are very excited to welcome Didier here.”

BBC Sport