Chelsea ponder early sale for rebel Drogba

The Mirror says Drogba, who could already miss up to six weeks while on African Nations Cup duty, has stunned the club by telling them he will lead Ivory Coast's Olympic team in Beijing next summer.

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And Chelsea fear Real Madrid's interest, coupled with his Olympics bombshell, is all part of a carefully orchestrated plan to speed up his departure from Stamford Bridge.

The Blues hierarchy believe Drogba is now agitating for a move and last month his agent Etienne Mendy admitted there had been strong interest from top clubs in Europe.

Ac Milan are also keen but Real Madrid are now stepping up their attempts to sign him and have made it clear that a £29.5m deal is on the table. Drogba, who is on a £100,000-a-week contract, is expected to stay until the end of the season but with two major commitments to the Ivory Coast it is now clear his loyalties lie with his country.

That may tempt Chelsea to seriously consider offers - and also leave them wondering if selling him in January makes more sense.

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