Shenhua brands Drogba's Galatasaray move 'rule breaching'

Beijing, Jan 30 (IANS) Chinese Super League (CSL) club Shanghai Shenhua Wednesday rejected Didier Drogba's move to Turkish side Galatasaray and labelled it "rule breaching".

Galatasaray Tuesday confirmed on their website that they reached a deal to sign former Chelsea striker Drogba, which drew Shenhua's objection, reports Xinhua.

"Shanghai Shenhua only knew about Drogba's move to Galatasaray from the Turkish club's official website Tuesday. Shenhua has been stunned by Galatasaray's rule breaching by contacting a player under contract," said the club.

Shenhua's contract with Drogba will run until 2014. The Cote d'Ivoire international scored eight goals in 11 appearances in the Chinese league.

"We understand Drogba's eagerness to play in the European Champions League. But Shenhua signed a two and a half years deal with Drogba July 1, 2012 and has been fulfilling the club's responsibility and obligation," it said.

"So Drogba is still a Shanghai Shenhua player. Our contract is still valid," Shenhua said.

The club said it was collecting evidence before it submits the case to FIFA, who last year denied a request from Drogba to be loaned back to Europe, saying it was against international transfer rules.

The Turkish side, however, claimed Drgoba was free to move anywhere.

"Drogba hadn't been paid for three months in China, he had a clause giving him the right to terminate his contract in the case of non-payment of wages" Galatasaray football agent Ceylan Caliskan was quoted by Turkish-football.com.

"We signed Drogba on a free contract, we didn't sign him from Shanghai Shenhua."

Whereas Xinmin Evening, a newspaper based in Shanghai, reported that Shenhua "stressed that they never fell behind in paying Drogba."

The 34-year-old Drogba, currently playing for his country Cote d'Ivoire at the Africa Cup of Nations, has said via his representatives on Twitter, "I am looking forward to playing in the Champions League again."

Galatasaray are through to the last 16 of the competition, where they face German side FC Schalke 04.

"The opportunity to play for this great club was an offer that I could not turn down," added Drogba.

Drogba was the second big name who walked out on the Chinese Super League which lost French international Nicolas Anelka a couple of days ago.

Anelka already arrived in Turin and was scheduled to undergo medical tests before signing a five-month contract believed to be worth 1.2 million euros ($1.6 million) with Juventus.