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Chelsea great Drogba returns on one-yr deal Juve sign Pereyra

LONDON, July 25, (Agencies): Premier League giants Chelsea announced on Friday that their former striker Didier Drogba has returned to the club on a one-year contract. Citing the influence of manager Jose Mourinho, Drogba told the club website: “It was an easy decision. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again. “Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club and it has always felt like home to me. My desire to win is still the same and I look forward to the opportunity to help this team. “I am excited for this next chapter of my career,” added Drogba, who was pictured on the club website posing with Chelsea’s new home shirt.

Drogba, 36, was a free agent after leaving Turkish side Galatasaray at the end of last season. The Ivory Coast star scored 157 goals for Chelsea over an eight-year period and left the club in 2012 shortly after scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. “He’s coming because he’s one of the best strikers in Europe,” Mourinho said. “I know his personality very well and I know if he comes back he’s not protected by history or what he’s done for this club previously. He is coming with the mentality to make more history.”
 
Mourinho brought Drogba to Stamford Bridge from Marseille in a £24 million ($40.7 million, 30.3 million euros) transfer in 2004 during his first stint as manager. The burly, powerful centre-forward went on to become one of the greatest players ever to have played for the west London club. He was instrumental in three Premier League title successes and also won four FA Cups and two League Cups, in addition to the Champions League triumph at Bayern’s Allianz Arena. In total he has made 341 appearances for the club, scoring nine cup-final goals, and was voted Chelsea’s greatest ever player in a 2012 fan poll.
 
After leaving in 2012, he played for Chinese club Shanghai Shenua before joining Galatasaray on an 18-month deal in January 2013. An Ivory Coast great, he played in all three of his country’s matches at the World Cup in Brazil, leaving him with 104 caps and 64 international goals to his name. Drogba is likely to provide cover for new Chelsea signing Diego Costa, who completed a £32 million move from Atletico Madrid earlier this month.
Mourinho can also call upon Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku, who has returned from a season-long loan at Everton, but Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o have both left the club.
British media reports suggested Drogba could be offered a coaching role at Chelsea, but Mourinho said that he was returning to the club to play.
“If you bring him back, it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no,” the Portuguese told the Friday editions of several British newspapers, before Drogba’s return had been confirmed.
Mourinho said that Drogba was returning because “as a player he has qualities to make the team stronger”.
He added: “(Chelsea owner Roman) Abramovich is very intelligent and he feels that people belong to the club. We feel that Didier belongs to us.”
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Crystal Palace signed England international Fraizer Campbell from Cardiff City for an undisclosed fee on Friday.
Campbell agreed a three-year contract with the south London club as the striker made an immediate return to the Premier League following Cardiff’s relegation from the top-flight last season.
The 26-year-old is believed to have cost Palace £800,000 ($1.35 million) after they triggered a release clause in the former Manchester United trainee’s contract.
“CPFC are delighted to confirm the signing of striker Fraizer Campbell from Cardiff City on a three year contract for an undisclosed fee,” Palace announced on their official Twitter feed.
Campbell, who made his only England appearance as a substitute in a friendly against the Netherlands in 2012, scored just nine goals last term as the Bluebirds slumped into the Championship.
He spent 18 months at the Welsh club following his £650,000 switch from Sunderland in 2013.
Campbell also had loan spells at Royal Antwerp, Hull and Tottenham during his five-year spell with United, for whom he made just two first-team appearances.
 
Juventus have signed Argentine winger Roberto Pereyra from Udinese in a 15.5 million-euro ($20.8 million) deal, the Italian Serie A champions said on Friday. “Juventus Football Club can today announce that Roberto Maximiliano Pereyra has completed a move to the club after terms were agreed with Udinese on a one-season loan deal for a fee of 1.5 million euro,” the club said in a statement. “The agreement includes the option for Juventus to make the deal permanent at the end of the 2014-15 campaign for a price of 14 million euros to be paid over the course of three years.” Pereyra joined Udinese from River Plate in 2011, offering his side close control and good delivery from the flanks in over 100 appearances for the small town club as they punched above their weight in Serie A.
 
The 23-year-old played 36 times in the league last season and scored two goals. Unpopular new coach Massimiliano Allegri, who took over at Juve after the hugely successful Antonio Conte resigned, is looking to bolster his squad as he aims for the European success that eluded his predecessor. Juventus have also signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, Patrice Evra from Manchester United and Kingsley Coman from Paris St Germain.
 
Fiorentina has announced a deal with Mexican club Monterrey to acquire Argentina international Jose Basanta on a full transfer. Fiorentina says the deal still requires the defender to pass a medical and sign a contract. While the club did not release financial details, the transfer price has been reported as 3.5 million euros ($4.7 million). The 30-year-old Basanta appeared for Argentina twice at the World Cup, against Switzerland in the round of 16 as a late substitute, and against Belgium in the quarterfinals as a starter. He also holds Mexican citizenship. He has never played in Europe.
 

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