Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has vowed to stay at Shanghai Shenhua next season amidst constant speculation over his future.
The Ivorian won the Champions League with his last kick for the Blues back in May, but left Stamford Bridge after eight years to embark on a new journey in China.
The 34-year-old has endured a difficult start to life in the Chinese Super League, with his new club changing manager three times, but he insists he is preparing for next season.
Drogba told the Shanghai Morning Post: “I hope next season I can start again from the beginning with Shenhua.”
Despite the arrival of Drogba and his former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka this term, the Shanghai outfit finished a lowly ninth in the CSL.
Rumours of a return to England for Drogba subsequently intensified, especially as reports came to light of alleged boardroom trouble which would force owner Zhu Jun to withdraw funding from the club.
But Drogba offered his explanation on why the team had underperformed this season, stating: “Because I joined Shenhua relatively late, I didn’t prepare with the team early in the season, so our results this year were not very good.”
Drogba has scored eight goals in 11 games since his free transfer to Shenhua, earning himself the nickname “Devil Beast” amongst Chinese fans.