Drogba rules out Marseille return

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has rejected claims he could be set for an emotional return to his former club Marseille.

Didier Drogba has ruled out a return to Marseille because he does not expect the Ligue 1 side to be competing for trophies next season.

The Ivory Coast striker was released by Chelsea at the end of his contract after helping them claim a fourth Premier League title and win the League Cup.

Reports had suggested the 37-year-old could return to the Stade Velodrome to finish his career, but Drogba said he will not be joining Marcelo Bielsa's side.

"It's not a question of money. I like to have a project. And Marseille, which I know well, does not have a project," Drogba is quoted as telling Ivorian media by ESPN.

"They have sold their best players, whom they let go till the end of their contracts. I'm talking about Andre Ayew, Andre-Pierre Gignac ... and they'll lose more.

"I don't want to go to Marseille to just play. If I go somewhere, it's to win, and I want to win. The question has been coming up for 10 years.

"There have been times when I could have returned, but the timing wasn't right. And each time my name comes up when it's time to renew season tickets. I don't want people to use me for financial purposes."

Drogba left Marseille for his first spell at Chelsea in July 2004.