Brian O'Driscoll says Ireland's World Cup hopes would receive a massive boost if the union bought Jonny Sexton out of his Racing Metro contract.
Sexton's move from Leinster to France last summer leaves the IRFU unable to control when the fly-half plays and when he rests.
The 28-year-old picked up a hamstring strain during the autumn internationals after playing 13 club games in 10 weeks.
And confusion has surrounded the thumb ligament strain he suffered against England, with Racing ruling him out for up to six weeks and the IRFU stating he has a chance of featuring against Italy on Saturday.
Sexton is contracted with Racing until the end of the 2014/15 season but there have been suggestions that the IRFU will seek to buy him out of the second year of his French contract and bring him back to Leinster.
"I don't want to talk out of turn where Jonny is contracted to Racing, and I think it would be disrespectful to them to say we were looking at taking him away from them," said O'Driscoll.
"I think everyone is in agreement that we didn't want to see him go, and if a situation arose where he did come back, and some agreement was made, I don't see that possibly being a negative.
"I know that he'd be welcomed back into the fold from a provincial point of view.
"And I'm sure the national management would like to be able to control his game-time a little bit more than they currently can.
"I suppose it's one just to wait out and we'll see what happens."
O'Driscoll will play his final home international for Ireland against Italy on Saturday, but fellow centre Luke Marshall has been ruled out after suffering concussion in Ulster's win over the Dragons on Friday.
Peter O'Mahony has been struggling with a hamstring problem but Ireland hope the flanker will able to train fully on Tuesday, while Ulster wing Andrew Trimble has fully recovered from a knee injury.