Manchester City are hoping to extend Frank Lampard's loan deal at the Etihad Stadium in order to cover the absence of fellow midfielder Yaya Toure during the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, which takes place at the turn of the year.
The Times reports that Manuel Pellegrini will be without the Ivory Coast star for at least six weeks, with the competition - which will now be staged in Equatorial Guinea after Morocco pulled out as hosts due to the ebola crisis - set to start on January 17.
Toure will be required to link up with his national team squad around a fortnight before the kick-off, making him unavailable for crucial Premier League fixtures against Everton, Arsenal and Chelsea.
If Herve Renard's side make it all the way to the final, then the Citizens star might not feature again until the home clash against Newcastle United on February 21, although there is a midweek trip to Stoke City on Wednesday 11 February that Toure could potentially make it back to England for.
His last game for Manchester City is likely to be the home meeting with Sunderland on New Year's Day, so it's easy to see why Pellegrini is keen to increase Lampard's stay, particularly in light of the important contribution the former Chelsea star has made for the club already this season.
Article continues below
The 36-year-old's current deal is set to expire on January 1, but that could be extended to early or mid-February depending on the length of Toure's participation in the AFCON tournament.
New York City - the club that Lampard originally signed for after leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer - are unlikely to be too happy about the prospect of the retired England international staying on with the Premier League champions, but accept that the decision will ultimately rest with their parent club.
Lampard could face Chelsea again at Stamford Bridge on January 31
The Major League Soccer franchise have built their marketing structure around the Chelsea legend's arrival in North America, but might be forced to rearrange plans if Lampard does in fact remain in England into 2015.
It won't be lost on the veteran that should he agree an extension with Manchester City then he stands to face his former club again when the defending champions travel to west London to face Jose Mourinho's side on January 31.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms