Didier Drogba could be set for a third spell at Chelsea after returning first-team manager Guus Hiddink confirmed his desire for one of the club's most celebrated players to become involved in his coaching setup. Both men were in attendance during a straightforward 3-1 victory over Sunderland on 19 December, watching alongside owner Roman Abramovich from the director's box as the defending Premier League champions began life after Jose Mourinho.
Rumours of a potential return to west London for Drogba, who won three domestic titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League during an initial eight-year stay at Chelsea before coming back for the 2014/15 season, first surfaced last week.
According to France Football, the Ivorian received a phone call from Abramovich in Abidjan on Wednesday regarding the possibility of taking up a role as Hiddink's assistant. The same report suggested that negotiations were already underway, although also claimed that the 37-year-old, while eager to begin a career in management, held reservations due to his close relationship with Mourinho.
Hiddink appears to have made no secret of his desire to recruit Drogba, meanwhile. As quoted by The Mail, he said: "I'd be happy to have him here. At the moment he is still attached to his contract in Canada. But it is intended that he's involved."
After leaving Chelsea for a second time in May following the end of his one-year deal, Drogba followed in the footsteps of former teammate Frank Lampard by heading to Major League Soccer (MLS) and signing for the Montreal Impact. He scored 11 goals in total during his first season in Quebec as Mauro Biello's side progressed through to the Eastern Conference semi-finals before losing to Colombus Crew.
Mindful of the speculation emanating from Europe, the Impact recently released a tweet to reassure supporters over their striker's future. It read: "The rumour about Didier Drogba is unfounded. No contact has been made with the club or him. #IMFC."