Didier Drogba was being linked with a sensational return to Chelsea on Wednesday after FIFA confirmed the Shanghai Shenhua striker had asked their permission to join another club on loan 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."

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