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Shanghai Shenhua threatens to contest Didier Drogba transfer, appeal to FIFA

Jan 30, 2013, 7:54 AM EDT

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba tak

Apparently there are two interpretations of whether Shanghai Shenhua fulfilled their commitment to seemingly Galatasaray-bound Didier Drogba. The first — the one the player and destination club are working under — is that months of unpaid compensation frees the former Chelsea star from his contract with the Chinese Super League club. The working assumption is that Shenhua were something like three months behind on their payments to Drogba, delinquency that leaves the Ivorian free to pursue a new career path.

The second has Shenhua moving toward an appeal to FIFA.

According to reports, the club Drogba joined last summer is “deeply shocked” that the 34-year-old is trying to move to Turkey, though it might be better to say they’re shocked he’s trying to move without compensation. Read between the lines of comments from Shanghai and you can see a future, modest settlement between Gala and Shenhua.

Cue the we have nothing to lose, so let’s give this a try legalese:

“We understand that Drogba is eager to participate in the European Champions League,” they added in a statement.

“Shanghai Shenhua Football Club and Drogba on 1 July, 2012 officially signed a formal contract for a period of two and a half years.

“The club has acted in accordance with this contract, and has effectively fulfilled the responsibilities and obligations of the club.

“Shanghai Shenhua is prepared to collate all the evidence and information and submit it to Fifa in order to protect its interests.”

They’ll collate the evidence, say ‘OK, you know we really mean this, right’ then take one million Euro to drop it. At least, that’s what this looks like at first blush, but from our seats on the outside, it’s impossible to know. Maybe Shenhua has a bunch of old school pay stubs they’ll throw down on a desk in Zurich and demand Drogba’s new deal be ripped up.

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For now, Drogba and Galatasaray seem pretty sure they’ve got a deal. With Drogba set for at least another week in South Africa, we don’t need an answer tomorrow. But thanks to Shenhua’s reaction, we will eventually need an answer.