17th December, 2012
Juventus coach Antonio Conte has ruled out making an approach for former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba in the January transfer window.
A report in the Gazzetta dello Sport today suggested Juve had made ‘significant progress’ with an approach for the Shanghai Shenhua forward, who made an appearance at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awa
Drogba, could be tempted back to Europe after failing to settle in China, but Juve claimed they are not going for the Ivorien striker.
Shanghai Shenhua are confident Drogba will stay in China despite speculation he could seal a move away from the club in January.
Drogba, 34, has been training with his former club Chelsea in order to maintain his fitness during the off-season in China ahead of next month’s African Nations Cup.
ESPN understands Shanghai Shenhua are optimistic of retaining the striker’s services, as rival clubs are unlikely to match his £200,000-a-week wages.
The Serie A champions have also been linked with Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente, but Conte insists Juventus are in no financial position to sign ‘top players’ including Drogba.
Following Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Atalanta, he told the Corriere dello Sport: “Speaking about the transfer market seems a bit disrespectful to my current players, who have showed great desire and dedication to my ideas over the last year.
“We are just fine keeping our feet on the ground. This is a difficult time given the current economic climate, not just for Juve but for all the other clubs.
“I won’t be bringing in any top players because we don’t have the means to support them.We have to make the most of what we have, we have to work hard and try to improve our current players into top playersSome have already got there and some will become great.”