Drogba seeks FIFA permission to move to Chelsea on loan
Didier Drogba is being linked with a sensational return to Chelsea after FIFA confirmed the Shanghai Shenhua striker had asked their permission to join another club on loan despite being outside the transfer window.
World football's governing body said it was considering a request from last season's Champions League-winning hero on the day the Blues sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo.
FIFA told Press Association Sport in a statement: "We can confirm that the player, Didier Drogba, has submitted a request for authorisation to be registered outside an open registration period for a club on a loan basis.
"Our services are currently looking into the matter."
It is not known whether Drogba has a club lined up to move to, but the Ivory Coast international has been linked with a move back to Marseille, the club he left for Chelsea in 2004, as well as Liverpool.
He teamed up with former Chelsea colleague Nicolas Anelka in China in June after agreeing a two-and-a-half-year contract with Shenhua.
Drogba's last act in a Chelsea shirt was scoring the winning penalty in the Champions League final defeat of Bayern Munich in May.
He has scored eight goals in 11 games for the Chinese side.
Existing rules prevent Drogba from representing another club until 1 January.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations takes place in South Africa between 19 January and 10 February.
Even if FIFA relented and Chelsea was allowed to sign Drogba on a short-term contract, he could not play in its must-win final Champions League group match against Nordsjaelland on Dec. 5.
Champions League teams must register their squad lists for the group stage with UEFA in September before their first match.
FIFA has upheld the rules in previous cases when David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan had to wait until January to make loan moves to Europe after the Major League Soccer season ended.
Drogba signed a contract through 2014 with Shanghai weeks after helping Chelsea win the Champions League title in May. He scored an 88th-minute equalizer against Bayern Munich, then struck the winning penalty in the shootout.Drogba was back at Stamford Bridge on Nov. 11 to see his old team draw 1-1 with Liverpool.