Chelsea have offered big-game player Didier Drogba one last chance to commit his future to the club, according to The Sun. The Ivorian striker has continually refused to sign a one-year extension to his existing £100,000-a-week contract with the west London club. He is, instead, believed to be looking for a long-term deal.
It is now understood that Chelsea are prepared to hand Drogba a fresh deal with a potential 12 month-extension, if his solid performances continue next season. The 34 year old scored crucial goals in the Blues' FA Cup semi-final and final wins and also in the Champions League semi-final triumph over Barcelona.
"Everyone is keen to keep Didier but the owner won't be held to ransom. He has to be realistic with his demands if he wants to continue playing at the highest level," the newspaper quoted a club source as saying. Drogba, who will be a free agent by the end of the season, has reportedly been offered a £20 million package to play in China till 2014.
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has abandoned plans to rest key players against Liverpool on Tuesday night, according to another report in The Sun. With a top-four finish seeming unattainable after the home loss to Newcastle United last week, Chelsea had been expected to field an under-strength team for the Anfield match, in an attempt to keep the players fresh for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on 19 May.
However, as Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle United all failed to win at the weekend, Chelsea could still finish even third in the league table if they claim maximum points from their remaining two games and the others fail to win on the final day.
Although victory against Bayern at the Allianz Arena would guarantee the Blues Champions League football next season, Di Matteo does not wish to gamble his side's future on the crunch clash and will now use all of his squad's resources in their final two domestic fixtures.
Finally, according to the Guardian, Spanish striker Fernando Torres is expected to start against Liverpool on Tuesday, giving the striker his first return to Anfield since his record £50 million move to Stamford Bridge London around 15 months ago.