Warnock regrets rejecting chance to sign Chelsea legend Drogba for bargain fee

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Neil Warnock missed out on the chance to sign Didier Drogba for just £100,000 – after an extraordinary tip off from one of his players.

Drogba became one of Jose Mourinho's first Chelsea signings in 2004 and the rest is history.

The Ivorian forward won the lot at Stamford Bridge, including four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League, where he scored the decisive penalty in the final.

He will undoubtedly go down as one of the Premier League greats, but his early career could have gone down a different path had Warnock taken the advice of his French player Laurent D’Jaffo.

Warnock managed D'Jaffo at Sheffield United between 2000 and 2002 and had been given a tip about Drogba.

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Drogba was then beginning his career at French second division side Le Mans, but Warnock thought his price tag was too risky.

'Usually it's a striker, with a manager," Warnock told TalkSPORT.

"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.

'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 transfer opportunity].

"I don't think I could have had a bigger loss than that one."

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