• Champions League

Chelsea to hold Drogba contract talks

ESPN staff
May 20, 2012 « Hodgson: Rooney not interested in rest | Chartbeat test »

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has confirmed talks will take place over Didier Drogba's contract this week and said Roberto Di Matteo is now under "serious consideration" for the managerial role.

Drogba played a leading role in Chelsea's victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on Saturday night, scoring a late equaliser to force extra-time before scoring the winning penalty in the shootout.

That penalty may well have been Drogba's last contribution to the Chelsea cause as his contract is up this summer, but negotiations will take place in the coming days over an extension.

"Didier is a big-match player and he did it once again," Buck told Sky Sports. "He's a good guy and he's a great player.

"I think [Chelsea chief exectutive] Ron Gourlay is going to sit down with his agent this week and we'll see where it goes."

Asked if he was hopeful of an agreement, Buck replied: "Well, I think we have to do what's best for Chelsea Football Club and Didier has to do what's best for him. We'll just see how the discussions go."

There are also questions as to whether Di Matteo will remain in charge, having led the club to FA Cup and now Champions League glory since taking over as interim manager following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking in March.

Buck said: "He's done an amazing job, Robbie, and he's enabled these players to get back the confidence that they used to have and which they need to perform. He's really got the players performing and we're very proud of him."

On the club's managerial plans, he added: "We've put that aside for the last six or eight weeks, concentrating on Barcelona and the FA Cup and Bayern Munich, but I think now, in the next few weeks, we have to sit down and think about doing what's best for Chelsea. And we will.

"Roberto is certainly in the mix, and he's done a great job for us. He has to have serious consideration."

Buck said the decision on the new manager would ideally be taken "sooner rather than later", and certainly prior to pre-season, but said the club would be patient if needed.

"We really need to get the new manager on board before we can start talking about players, but we also want to do what's best for Chelsea."

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