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The Chinese Super League champions have declared they were never in pursuit of the Ivory Coast star and threatened legal action for any media who report as such

Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande have announced they are not in the race for Chelsea's Didier Drogba and insisted they never contacted the Ivory Coast striker.

The 33-year-old, who comes out of contract at Stamford Bridge in the European summer, has reportedly been chased by Chinese clubs Guangzhou, Shanghai Shenhua and Dalian Aerbin.

However, Guangzhou declared in an official statement that any speculation linking them with Drogba was false.

"Considering the rumours among these days, we would announce seriously: Guangzhou Evergrande never contacted Didier Drogba, and we never authorized anybody to do this work," the club statement.

Guangzhou went on to threaten to take legal action against any media who reported they were in for the Ivory Coast international.

"Any messages about Guangzhou Evergrande, we could announce with an official statement. If anyone or any media speculates without truth, and it's harmful for the brand of Guangzhou Evergrande FC, we are going to engage in legal proceedings," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Guangzhou's declaration along with newly-promoted Dalian Aerbin dropping out of the race, leaves Shanghai as the only Chinese club left in pursuit of Drogba.

Shenhua owner Zhu Jun, who played a key role in signing Nicolas Anelka from the Blues last month, said Chinese clubs shouldn't battle against one another to sign players as it forces their value up.

"Chinese clubs shouldn't fight each other to raise the price of the player," Zhu Jun said.

"We would pause the negotiation with Drogba's team and give our friendship club 10 days to complete the job. After 10 days, we would join and snatch."

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