Neil Warnock admits he REJECTED the chance to sign Chelsea legend Didier Drogba for ONLY £100,000

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Neil Warnock admits he REJECTED the chance to sign Chelsea legend Didier Drogba for ONLY £100,000 while he was in charge of Sheffield United… after admitting he did not want to gamble on the ‘second division striker’ before he joined the Blues for £24m!

  • Neil Warnock revealed he was tipped on Didier Drogba while at Sheffield United
  • Ex-Blades star Laurent D’Jaffo made him aware of ‘French second division’ star
  • Drogba had played for Le Mans early in his career between 1998 and 2002
  • The Ivorian eventually joined Chelsea in 2004 for £24million from Marseille 


Neil Warnock has admitted he once turned down the chance to sign Didier Drogba while he was in charge of Sheffield United.

The Blades were in the Championship at the time, when Warnock claims one of his players, Laurent D’Jaffo, approached him on a tip to sign Drogba who started his career with French second tier team Le Mans in 1998, spending four years at the club.

Warnock claims that D’Jaffo, who was at the Blades between 2000 and 2002, pleaded with him to sign the Ivory Coast striker for just £100,000.

Neil Warnock (above) has revealed he once missed out on the chance to sign Didier Drogba

Soon after the striker joined Chelsea for £24million

Neil Warnock has revealed he once missed out on the chance to sign Didier Drogba

Drogba went to become a Blues legend, winning the Champions League in 2012 (above)

Drogba went to become a Blues legend, winning the Champions League in 2012 (above)

But he admitted to turning down the financial risk for the club before Drogba soon joined Chelsea for £24million in 2004 via Guingamp and Marseille, and becoming a Blues legend by winning four Premier League titles and a Champions League winner’s medal.

When asked on his biggest missed transfer opportunity, Warnock admitted Drogba was one of many during his career. 

‘I think every manager has one,’ Warnock told talkSPORT. ‘Usually it’s a striker, with a manager. The main one early in my career, I had a French lad, Laurent D’Jaffo, he said to me “Gaffer I’ve seen a player for you in second division in France, very good, £100,000.”

Warnock regretted his decision but also admitted all managers have similar moments

Warnock regretted his decision but also admitted all managers have similar moments

Laurent D'Jaffo of Sheffield United (pictured in 2002) tipped Warnock on Drogba

Drogba, pictured playing for Ivory Coast in 2002, was in the French second division at the time

Laurent D’Jaffo of Sheffield United (pictured in 2002, left) tipped Warnock on Drogba

‘I said “£100,000? That a lot for a second division French player. What’s his name?” He said “Drogba”.

‘I said we cant pay £100,000 for a second division French player. You all know what happened to him in the end, Drogba. That was my biggest [missed opportunity] I don’t think I could have had a bigger loss than that one.’

While in charge of Sheffield United, Warnock eventually took the club into the Premier League in 2006 and faced Drogba as an opponent for the first time.

However, while his side were beaten 3-0 at Stamford Bridge and 2-0 at home, Drogba failed to trouble the scoresheet – playing just 70 minutes across the two matches. 

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