In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Didier Drogba makes a surprise gesture to Kylian Mbappe at the Ballon D’Or awards, reports in Italy indicate Mario Pasalic could be set for a permanent Serie A deal in the summer and the January transfer window might be the time for Olivier Giroud to move on...
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Mbappe finally gets Drogba snap
Didier Drogba made good on a decade-old request to have his photo taken with PSG forward Kylian Mbappe with an epic selfie at the Ballon D’Or awards on Monday, the Mirror reports.
While co-hosting the awards show in Paris, the Ivorian revealed he had turned down the then 10-year-old Mbappe after Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in May 2009.
Drogba was incensed after a match in which the Blues had multiple penalty appeals turned down and missed out on the final when Andres Iniesta scored a crucial away goal for the visitors with their only shot on target deep into stoppage time.
However, with Mbappe on stage to receive an award for finishing sixth in the overall Ballon D’Or rankings, former Chelsea striker Drogba decided the time was right to fulfil the long-standing request.
‘Ten years ago after Chelsea vs Barcelona, a child came to me and wanted to take a picture,’ said the former Blues striker.
‘That day I said no because of the disgraceful refereeing decisions. I learned that the child was Kylian Mbappe. I want to pay my debt now.’
Drogba then asked all the guests to stand up as he snapped a selfie of him posing with Mbappe, and fellow presenter Sandy Heribert.
Atalanta keen to take up Pasalic option
A report in Italy indicates Atalanta will take up their option to buy Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic at the end of the season, the Football Italia website reports
According to Tuttosport, the Serie A club will exercise their option to retain the Croatian midfielder for €15m next summer after a successful spell in Bergamo.
Pasalic joined Atalanta on loan in the summer of 2018 and has scored 12 goals and provided nine assists in 60 appearances for the club.
The 24-year-old, who was signed by the Blues from Hajduk Split in 2014, also played a key role for Atalanta last season when they finished third in Serie A and qualified for the Champions League for the first time.
Giroud open to switch
Chelsea will listen to offers for Olivier Giroud in January according to a report in the Mail.The France striker played in the weekend game against West Ham, his first start since August, although Christian Pulisic ended up in the central striker role.The American remains an option there according to the newspaper’s article, which claims:‘Giroud is understood to be open to leaving, given the 33-year-old Frenchman needs game time ahead of the summer's European Championship. Italy's Serie A is a potential destination.
‘The Court of Arbitration for Sport are currently reviewing Chelsea's two-window transfer ban.‘If overturned, with a decision expected before January, Lampard will look to bolster his squad. That could include bringing in a new back-up striker to [Tammy] Abraham.’