Chelsea have opened talks to bring Didier Drogba, now a player in Chinese Super League Shanghai Shenhua, back to London on an special loan deal before the January transfer window opens in January.
The Times said Thursday that resigning Drogba would be cheaper than other potential purchases and the deal would be in the mutual interests because the Cote D'Ivoire striker is desperately wanting to play in preparation for January's African Cup of Nations, reports Xinhua.
Drogba, who has been back to London after the Chinese season was over earlier November, has asked FIFA for special permission Wednesday to rejoin another club in Europe on loan despite being outside the official transfer window.
Drogba joined Shenhua in June on a two-and-a-half-year deal after helping Chelsea win the Champions League title.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will be held in South Africa between Jan 19 and Feb 10. Drogba will captain his country at the tournament, meaning that if a deal can be completed, the forward would have to depart the club after the Premier League game with Stoke City on Jan 12.