Drogba issue needed clarifying, says Schalke chief Heldt

The German club's general manager defended their decision to question the Ivorian's eligibility, and it has been revealed that Edu's contract has been terminated by mutual consent

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt insists that the club were well within their rights to enquire about Didier Drogba’s Champions League eligibility after their 1-1 draw at Galatasaray.

The Bundesliga club revealed their intention to find out whether or not the Ivorian was permitted to feature in European competition after the last-16 first leg had been played, as the striker had recently arrived at his new Turkish team in controversial circumstances from Shanghai Shenhua.

Uefa, however, confirmed on Wednesday that it has rejected the Gelsenkirchen side’s protests, though Heldt defended Schalke’s Drogba complaint.

"It was important to get legal certainty," he told reporters at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

"We want to beat Galatasaray sportingly, now that Uefa has responded. We will accept that."

Schalke also confirmed on Thursday that Edu has left the club after the two parties scrapped his contract by mutual consent, and Heldt wished the former Mainz attacker - who has been on loan at Greuther Furth this season - all the best for the future.

"Edu approached us with the desire to leave," Heldt said. "We’ve thanked him for his commitment to Schalke and we wish Edu well, personally and privately, for the future."

Edu joined in January 2010 but has made just one appearance in the past two seasons, and, though his contract at the Bundesliga side was due to expire in the summer, he has joined Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin.