By Tony Jimenez
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Didier Drogba will be a part of the Chelsea family again one day, manager Jose Mourinho predicted on the eve of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Galatasaray.
Mourinho told reporters that the Galatasaray striker was such an important part of Chelsea's history that it was inevitable that he would be a Stamford Bridge employee again at some point in the future.
Drogba's contract expires at the end of the season and media reports have linked him with a role as Chelsea player-coach.
At a separate news conference earlier, the 36-year-old also said he would like to return to the London club one day.
"He is one of the most important players in the history of this club. All we Chelsea supporters agree with that," said Mourinho.
"We don't say he is the most important because it's not fair for other people who were at the same level and were of the same generation.
"His return has to happen one day, when I don't know. As a player, as a coach, as an ambassador, next year, in four or five years, 10 years, I don't know," added Mourinho.
"But when a person gives so much to a club and a club represents so much to a person, as in this case, I think he has to be back one day."
Chelsea held Galatasaray to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Istanbul. (Editing by Alan Baldwin)