Didier Drogba was closing in on a dramatic return to European football tonight after his management company confirmed Galatasaray had made a bid to sign the striker.
Speculation has been rife that Chelsea's Champions League-winning hero was set to quit Shanghai Shenhua after just six months in China, with a host of clubs linked with the Ivory Coast star.
But Galatasaray have moved into pole position after making an offer to his current club, with a spokesperson for the Sports PR Company telling Press Association Sport: "They have made a formal bid for him."
It is understood a deal could be concluded as early as this evening for the 34-year-old, amid reports he has agreed an 18-month contract.
Turkish champions Galatasaray have already signed Inter Milan star Wesley Sneijder this month as they look to bolster their squad after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Schalke, and they have also been heavily linked with Manchester City defender Kolo Toure.
Drogba's last act for Chelsea before joining Shenhua last summer was scoring the winning penalty in their final shootout triumph.