Could the last-place Chicago Fire be set to land a player who could help change their season around?
The club's COO Atul Khosla confirmed on Tuesday via Twitter that the Fire are in fact "working to get Didier Drogba," the legendary Chelsea forward who recently confirmed he was in talks with MLS about a potential deal.
Khosla wrote that Chicago have been "in regular dialogue over [the] past 3 weeks with Didier Drogba and his representatives."
The statement comes just hours after Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo went public with his club's interest in the player should the Fire not go through with the signing.
Chicago are, in fact, first in line to acquire Drogba per the Discovery process in which each MLS club submits a list of seven unsigned players to the MLS league office, thus establishing priority on a first-come, first-serve basis. Drogba was on the Fire's Discovery list.
If at any point the Fire decide not to sign Drogba, another club, in this case the Montreal Impact, can make a move for the player.
Saputo told TSN Radio on Monday night that "there was a short period in time where Chicago felt they weren’t interested in the services of Didier Drogba, for whatever reason. The league gave other clubs the opportunity to speak to them, so when the league contacted us about Didier, we said ‘Absolutely, we're very interested.’”
According to Saputo, he used that window of time to speak directly to Drogba last Friday.
But on Tuesday the Fire reiterated their desire to make Drogba the newest member of the Fire in a club statement shared with ESPNFC.com: "We would love to have Mr. Drogba join our club and we are working within the rules set by Major League Soccer for the Discovery process."
The Fire already have the maximum three Designated Players, but they could use Targeted Allocation Money to open up a spot for the Ivorian striker.