Shanghai Shenhua coach Sergio Batista says he wishes Didier Drogba was available to play as soon as possible after the club confirmed he would arrive on July 13 at the latest.
The 34-year-old Ivorian put pen to paper on a lucrative two-and-a-half-year contract with the Chinese big-spenders late last month.
However, Drogba's arrival in Shanghai has not been immediate and the club revealed this week he will not make his debut until July 14's league clash with Beijing Guoan, who signed Frederic Kanoute on Saturday.
“Certainly I wish he could arrive as early as possible,” Batista said in a press conference.
He added: “The club told me his arrival will be on July 13 at the latest."
Drogba's presence will be a major boost for Shenhua, who are currently only two spots above the drop zone, with just 15 points and 11 goals from 14 games this season.
Despite police's remarks that the gathering was illegal, the crowd turned up clad in black to symbolise their protest.