Update: Didier Drogba tweeted out a message about the reports on Wednesday afternoon:
Could Didier Drogba’s time with the Montreal Impact already be at an end?
According to L’Equipe, that’s the case, as they are reporting the Ivory Coast legend who joined the Impact midway through last season, scoring 11 goals in 11 league appearances, is set to retire as a player and join his former club Chelsea as a coach. The French outlet is reporting that Drogba called Impact owner Joey Saputo to inform him of the decision to hang up his boots.
An Impact spokesman denied to MLSsoccer.com that Drogba has told Saputo he's retiring.
If it is indeed the end of Drogba's playing career, the move would end weeks of speculation following the recent departure of former Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho. Drogba was spotted sitting in the stands alongside Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and interim manager Guus Hiddink during the Blues’ win Dec. 19 over Sunderland.
Hiddink dismissed the speculation at the time, while Montreal issued a series of tweets expressing a desire for Drogba to return for the 2016 season.
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Not only would Drogba’s retirement be a blow for Montreal, whose side was transformed upon the 37-year-old striker’s arrival at Stade Saputo, but it would also mark the end of a momentous 18-year career that reached heights at both the international and club levels.
An Ivory Coast international from 2002 to 2014, he is the nation’s all-time leading goal scorer and captained the side in their first three World Cup appearances. He joined Montreal after his second stint with Chelsea, where he departed as the English Premier League club’s top-scoring foreign player and fourth overall of all-time.