Didier Drogba's hopes of an immediate move to a European club from Shanghai Shenhua have been dashed by FIFA.
The Ivory Coast international striker was being linked with a loan move to former club Chelsea after the Chinese Super League ended this month.
The 34-year-old requested special permission to join another club outside the international transfer window to maintain his fitness levels ahead
of the African Cup of Nations, which starts on 19 January in South Africa. However, FIFA upheld its rules in previous cases when making Major League Soccer players David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan wait until January to make loan moves.