Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho expects former striker Didier Drogba to eventually return to Stamford Bridge in some capacity in the future.

Drogba left the Blues last summer after failing to agree a contract extension, joining Shanghai Shenhua in China before moving to Galatasaray in the January transfer window.

At 35 Drogba is entering the twilight of his career and has just a year to run on his current deal in Turkey and Mourinho says the Ivory Coast forward is likely to come back to west London.

"Drogba is worshipped at this club and this is perfectly normal," Mourinho told Portuguese daily A Bola. "I think one day he'll return to Chelsea.

"He is a very important player in Chelsea's history and will always be in the memory of the fans, the management, the owner and his team-mates.

"It is normal that he will have a future at Chelsea. As a coach? I do not know."

Drogba scored the winning penalty in the Champions League final in his last appearance for Chelsea at the end of the 2011/12 season bringing an end to a glittering career in England football.

The ex-Marseille man claimed 10 major trophies across eight years at Chelsea, ending his career as the club's fourth highest ever goal-scorer with 157.

While the timing of Drogba's potential return is uncertain, Mourinho officially begins his second spell at Chelsea in just over two weeks in the club's opening Premier League game against Hull City.

The Europa League winners then visit champions Manchester United the following week and defender Branislav Ivanovic wants his side to lay down a marker at Old Trafford.

"Of course, if we win we can intimidate them," the Serbian said.

"This can be psychologically a very difficult game and if we can go there and win it would be massive for us, have a huge effect on our confidence and make things feel different.

"But, even if we lose, we mustn't feel we need to change a lot of things in our heads. The season is long."