| Didier Drogba: Talks with Chelsea continue
DIDIER DROGBA TALKS CONTINUE
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has not ruled out reaching an agreement with Didier Drogba over a new deal despite the January transfer window looming.
Drogba is out of contract at Stamford Bridge in the summer and will be free to talk with potential suitors next month over a possible move, with clubs in France and China thought to be interested.
Should the Ivory Coast international stay put in January it would mean he could leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Negotiations with the Blues over an extension are on-going but the striker is yet to be offered the two-year deal he reportedly covets, with the club refusing to budge on their 12-month proposal.
The stalemate suggests Drogba could be on the move in the near future but manager Villas-Boas remains hopeful he will stay.
"We've had these talks before," he said Chelsea. "Our interest is there and the agreement hasn't been done.
"January arrives and the player is free to start speaking to other people and he has this advantage but his integrity and his values are never in question, neither his professionalism.
"We have to reach an agreement. It's a two-way process and it's been on-going for quite some time.
"We could have reached an agreement earlier but it wasn't the case and now January arrives for the player to consider his options.
"For me as a manager it's important to count on the player and person and I'm sure I can have it 100 per cent."
The Blues are thought to be closing on a deal for Bolton's Gary Cahill, which would clear the way for defender Alex to leave after he has fallen down the pecking order.
Villas-Boas says, while the club are yet to receive any concrete offers for the Brazilian, there has been plenty of interest, adding: "There has been a lot of interest of course, and the player is a player of quality and has been associated with numerous clubs in different countries.
"Regarding the options we are taking we always identified that position to be strengthened after the decision we took and we feel we are ready to respond as soon as the market opens and that's our main prerogative."