Claudio Ranieri has revealed that it was he who influenced Chelsea to sign Didier Drogba.

The Leicester City boss was at the helm at Stamford Bridge in 2004 just months before the Blues landed the Ivory Coast striker from Marseille.

Ranieri, who faces his former club on Monday night, said that he was the man who got the ball rolling on deals for such players as Petr Cech, Arjen Robben and Drogba just a year into Roman Abramovich’s reign.

“I chose Cech and had been to Eindhoven to take Robben, and I suggested Drogba,” said Ranieri.

“The season before I wanted Samuel Eto’o from Mallorca but it wasn’t possible.

“So I told the owner, ‘I need Drogba’. But after I was sacked.”

Ranieri spent four years at Chelsea and although he failed to win any silverware, he got together the key ingredients for Jose Mourinho’s title-winning squad of 2005 by bringing to West London the likes of Cech, Robben, Frank Lampard, William Gallas, Paulo Ferreira, Claude Makelele, Joe Cole and Damien Duff.

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