By Matt Lawton
Didier Drogba has almost certainly kicked his last ball for Chelsea, with the club expecting him to confirm his free transfer to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
It means Drogba’s last touch in a Chelsea shirt was to score the winning penalty in the shoot-out that defeated Bayern Munich. He will link up with former team-mate Nicolas Anelka in China in a contract worth around £250,000-a-week net.
His departure will be followed by fresh investment by Roman Abramovich.
Owner Abramovich addressed his European Champions by declaring that ‘this is just the beginning’ for Chelsea.
The Russian oligarch has pumped a £1billion into his football club and marched into the dressing room after seeing his side clinch a dramatic Champions League final to make it clear there would be further investment.
This week he will meet Di Matteo to discuss his future and Sportsmail understands there is a good chance the Italian could be offered another contract – perhaps one that enables Abramovich to wait for Pep Guardiola while the former Barcelona manager takes a sabbatical.
On Sunday, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck admitted Di Matteo had received the full backing of the players, who sang that he should be given the job in the dressing room with Abramovich present.
‘He’s (Di Matteo) certainly done a lot. We’ve heard from a number of the players that they’d like him to see him as manager.
‘There’s no doubt we recognise the great contribution Robbie has made to the club, not just in bringing home two trophies but really in turning around the confidence of these players.’
Buck said chief executive Ron Gourlay would meet with Drogba’s agent.
‘We love Didier. He’s a great player, but we have to think about what’s right for Didier and what’s right for Chelsea. He’s a man for the big game and always has been.’