Kolo Toure is in contention to make a surprise comeback to the Manchester City line-up for their clash with West Ham on Saturday, ESPN can reveal.
Toure, 31, has had limited playing opportunities this season with Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott and new signing Matija Nastasic all above him in the pecking order - but, with a shortage of right backs, Roberto Mancini could be forced to play the Ivorian.
The former Arsenal player was linked with a move to Turkish club Bursaspor in the summer, but it fell through, and ESPN has been told his preference is to stay in the Premier League if possible, despite claiming he would be open to a move to France.
Although it seems Toure is headed for the exit door in the January transfer window, he might be given another chance to prove himself against West Ham.
"With (Micah) Richards now injured, Maicon still injured and (Pablo) Zabaleta coming back from injury, there is every chance Kolo will play right back against West Ham," an ESPN source said. "He wants to stay in England and is considering his future and could well go in January even if it's on loan to start with."
Toure has fallen out of favour since being suspended for failing a drugs test in March 2011, making only 13 appearances during City's Premier League campaign last season.
He impressed Mancini during the pre-season, but has found himself struggling for playing time this campaign and recently said he is determined to continue playing at the highest level.
"I fight. My team-mates know, my brother knows. I do my best but the club are showing me the way out at the moment," he said. "I'm not angry with the manager. If someone doesn't want me then there will be another club that does.
"I still have this hunger. I take Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes as an example - what they are doing for Manchester United is incredible. I want to be like them."