Didier Drogba could be in for a shock return to Chelsea after the striker revealed that he is seeking a loan move to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts in January.
Drogba, whose last act in a Blues shirt was to score the winning penalty in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich back in May, is under contract at Shanghai Shenhua.
However, now the Chinese season is over, he wants a loan move to maintain his fitness.
With the Cup of Nations in South Africa on the horizon, these next two months are crucial for Drogba if Ivory Coast are to mount a serious challenge on the title. He needs games and, if FIFA give him clearance to move outside the transfer window, Drogba could soon be on the plane to London.
Indeed, the chances of a return to Stamford Bridge must be high with the news that Rafael Benitez has taken charge of the European champions.
Benitez has few attacking options with Fernando Torres out of form and Daniel Sturridge injured, and so Drogba would be the perfect signing to stop the gap until January.
And, although many pundits offering Premier league betting tips will see Drogba’s arrival as a challenge to Torres’ development – much like last season – most Blues fans would welcome their legend back with open arms.
Now out of the Champions League and slightly off pace of the Premier League leaders, Chelsea need a boost and Drogba’s arrival would do far more good than any tactical tinkering Benitez can enact before January.
A loan move back to Chelsea would be best for both camps, as Benitez has nothing to lose in re-signing a striker of such pedigree while Drogba can gain his fitness from the fastest league on the planet ahead of a gruelling Cup of Nations campaign later this winter.