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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Drogba joins Chelsea
Drogba scored 29 goals last season
I will do my best to be better than I was last season at Marseille
Didier Drogba
Marseille striker Didier Drogba has completed his move to Chelsea for a reported 24m.

The 26-year-old flew into London on Tuesday for his medical - which he passed without problem - and has signed a three-year contract with the Blues.

"I am very happy to be here and am looking forward to playing for my new team," Drogba told Chelsea TV.

Striker Eidur Gudjohnsen has also ended speculation over his future by signing a new four-year deal with the club.

Drogba added: "I want to do well with my national team and my club, so I will do my best to be better than I was last season at Marseille.

"It is a big chance for me to come here and work with the coach, and to play for my new team."

Chelsea saw off interest from several Italian clubs - including Juventus - to sign Drogba, who becomes the club's record signing and the most expensive striker in English domestic football.

Drogba will now jet off with the rest of the Chelsea squad to Seattle on Wednesday for the start of a three-match tour which will see the Blues face Celtic, Roma and AC Milan.

Meanwhile, Mourinho has played down reports that the club are also on the verge of signing Portuguese midfielder Tiago from Benfica.

Tiago is in London discussing personal terms but the deal is understood to have hit a stumbling block.

Gudjohnsen, who joined the Blues from Bolton four years ago, had two years remaining on his previous deal.

"I am very pleased," said Gudjohnsen.

DROGBA FACTFILE
1978: Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
1983: Moves to France
1993: Gives up football for a year
1994: Wins trial with Levallois
1997: Wins trial with Guingamp, but breaks toe
2000: Scores seven goals playing for Le Mans
2001: Scores five goals for Le Mans
2001/2: Moves to Guingamp, scores three goals in 11 games
2002/3: Scores 17 times for Guingamp; runner-up African Footballer of the Year
2003/4: Joins Marseille for 4m; scores 18 goals in 35 league games; voted Footballer of the Year in France

"It shows the confidence the club have shown in me and I am delighted to have sorted out my future.

"With the new manager coming in, you want to impress and be on the top of your game.

"It is a very exciting time yet again at Chelsea and hopefully the season will reflect on that."

Marseille earlier revealed that Chelsea offered double what Juventus were prepared to pay for Drogba.

And Marseille president Christophe Bouchet said the fee for the striker could be as much as 26.6m.

"What Chelsea offered was the double that of Juventus' offer," he said. "We could not let such an offer go.

"Everything was finalised this weekend. Didier has signed a four-year contract, and the estimated price tag is between 35 and 40m euros (23.3m and 26.6m)."

But at a news conference on Tuesday Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon defended the outlay, insisting Drogba was worth the money.

"I think his record speaks for itself," he said. "I and everyone else feel confident that the money spent on him will be paid back in doing what he does best - by scoring goals.

"We are happy with the price we will pay. Didier is one of the most exciting strikers around."

Drogba was footballer of the year in France last season.

He scored 29 goals last season, 11 of them in European competition, as Marseille reached the Uefa Cup final, losing 2-0 to Valencia.

The French side admitted last week that the striker, who joined from Guingamp for 4m in 2003, was set to join Chelsea.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Didier Drogba


Report: Mourinho defends Drogba deal




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