Frank Lampard's loan spell with Manchester City could be extended into February next year, according to Sky sources.
The 36-year-old former Chelsea midfielder, who joined upcoming MLS franchise New York City on a two-year deal in July, signed a six-month deal at the Etihad on August 6.
However, Sky Sports understands Lampard's loan could be stretched as City boss Manuel Pellegrini seeks cover for Ivory Coast skipper Yaya Toure, who is likely to be on duty at the Africa Cup of Nations until February 8.
New York City will begin pre-season training early in the New Year but Lampard, who scored City's equaliser against Chelsea at the weekend, is likely to be up to full fitness having been involved regularly, injury permitting, for the Premier League champions.
Any extension in his loan deal would also see Lampard available for the 'return' against Jose Mourinho's side at Stamford Bridge on January 31.
Earlier this month, Lampard called time on his international career after scoring 29 goals in 106 appearances for his country.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Capital One Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday, Pellegrini said: "I can't answer you about that (Lampard) at this moment.
"Frank will stay with us till January because before January, he will have nothing to do in the United States because they are not working.
"In January, we will see what happens here and then we will make a decision, but not probably at this moment."
Asked if there was any truth in reports linking him with Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, Pellegrini said: "I think for the moment I will tell you the same answer that every time I have the same question I give the same answer... I don't talk about rumours.
"We are not trying to bring anyone to our squad at this moment. I repeat once again that we have an important restriction on money and on the amount of players that we can have in our squad so really I don't know where the news comes from."