Didier Drogba is in talks to end his playing career at Montreal Impact and become Guus Hiddink’s assistant at Chelsea.
Roman Abramovich is understood to have succeeded in his bid to persuade the 37-year-old former Blues striker to return for a third spell at Stamford Bridge.
Sources close to the player have confirmed discussions are taking place after less than a year in the MLS.
Drogba is expected to be in position alongside Hiddink at Chelsea in time for their Champions League round of 16 tie against Paris St Germain next month.
He was a guest of Abramovich at the Bridge on December 19 for the club’s Premier League win over Sunderland.
Drogba and Hiddink then met and spoke with some of the Chelsea players in the dressing room afterwards.
Drogba quit the Champions for Montreal in July last year after helping them to their fourth title.
Montreal Impact had been desperate to hold on to him after his 11 goals in 11 regular-season matches and his efforts helping the club into the MLS playoffs.
But Abramovich feels his leadership will be key and there are suggestions that Drogba could even be groomed as a future boss.
The Ivorian had previously departed after scoring the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League Final to beat Bayern Munich.