Didier Drogba has been refused permission by FIFA to make an immediate loan move away from Shanghai Shenhua.
The Ivory Coast striker was linked with a return to former club Chelsea as well as a potential move to Serie A champion Juventus following the conclusion of the Chinese Super League this month; however, his hopes of sealing this move were dashed by the world's governing body of the sport as he looked to build his fitness ahead of the African Cup of Nations, which starts in January in South Africa.
"We can confirm that the player Didier Drogba submitted a request for authorization to be registered outside an open registration period for a club on a loan basis," FIFA said in a statement. "FIFA has informed him about the relevant regulations... that players may only be registered during one of the two annual registration periods fixed by the relevant association."
FIFA has maintained its rules that state no player can move outside the international transfer window. This has been the case where MLS players such as Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan have been forced to wait until January to complete their short-term loan moves.