Milan raise stakes in Drogba chase

Chelsea might have been pursuing AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti to become their new manager but it appears there could be movement the other way with the Italian club claiming they have been given permission to speak to Blues forward Didier Drogba.

Milan are desperate to sign a new striker, particularly after Palermo forward Amauri chose a move to rivals Juventus, and club vice-president Adriano Galliani has suggested Drogba could be in line for a move to the San Siro.

However, he said the club had been rebuffed in an inquiry about former striker Andriy Shevchenko, who has not had the best of times at Stamford Bridge since his move from Milan two years ago.

The Ukrainian has strong ties with the club and in particular with Silvio Berlusconi, the former president who stepped down after being elected to his third term as prime minister and who is godfather to the striker’s son.

“Chelsea have authorised us to open negotiations with Drogba,” Galliani told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Unfortunately, Chelsea still consider Andriy unsellable. This decision makes us very sad.”

Galliani also revealed Barcelona’s Samuel Eto’o was another player the club were talking to.

The Serie A club’s market consultant Ernesto Brozetti echoed Galliani’s admission, telling Corriere dello Sport: “Eto’o has expressed his desire to come to Milan.

“We have met with Eto’o’s agent after (Barca) president (Joan) Laporta gave us permission to.”

However, it is reported Milan’s fifth-placed finish in Serie A last season - meaning they failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League – may prove a stumbling block in negotiations with the Cameroon international.

Meanwhile, Milan’s interest in Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor seems to have cooled.

Galliani highlighted the 24-year-old as a target on Friday, but Milan have since been warned off the player by Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger.

Wenger told Gazzetta Adebayor was not for sale.

He said: “In this case the situation seems clear to me too, given that (Adebayor’s) contract was renewed recently.”

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