Us rock fans yearning for Richie Sambora's return to Bon Jovi, especially after the former Bon Jovi guitarist has been dropping hints about the possibility throughout the year, could be one step closer to the real thing this week.

On Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett's Shred With Shifty podcast on Thursday (Sept. 14), Sambora again said he's been talking with Bon Jovi about a reunion. But this time around, the guitarist appeared to confirm that he's actually spoken to bandleader Jon Bon Jovi himself about it, making the likelihood appear ever closer.

Watch the full podcast episode below, wherein Shiflett asks Sambora if a reunion between him and Bon Jovi is indeed on the horizon.

"We're talking about it," Sambora answers, echoing other suggestions he's made in 2023. Asked what talking about it entails — and if he's actually spoken to the namesake Bon Jovi singer on the phone — Sambora replies, "Yeah, it's that. It's — there's a demand out there for it, you know? Especially outside of the USA." (via Blabbermouth)

It's quite a flip from what Sambora said earlier this summer. In June, when asked if the two parties had discussed it, Sambora responded, "Naaaah! No, not even close. Nobody asked me yet."

However, at that time he added, "I could do it tomorrow if they asked me."

Richie Sambora on Shred With Shifty - Sept. 14, 2023

Richie Sambora's Exit + One-Off Return

After making his name in Bon Jovi, Sambora exited the group prior to a 2013 concert in Calgary. "Personal issues" were initially cited for the guitarist's absence on their tour, with Jon Bon Jovi later debunking talk that the guitarist had been kicked out of the band. A year later, the singer confirmed that Sambora had "quit - he's gone."

Phil X, who had been a session and touring musician with the band, became an official member of the band in 2016, handling lead and rhythm guitar parts as well as backing vocals.

READ MORE: Jon Bon Jovi Names Best Guitarist

In 2018, Sambora returned to the band for a one-off appearance, though a very special one at that, as the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Along with another former member, Alec John Such, Sambora and his Bon Jovi mates performed "You Give Love a Bad Name," "It's My Life," "When We Were Us" and "Livin' on a Prayer."

Since that time, there have been rumblings of Sambora's potential return. Back in 2020, the guitarist sparked some of the reunion talk, when he told The Daily Mail, "It would have to be a special situation for me to go back, but I'm certainly not counting it out. I have no malice toward [them]."

What Richie Sambora Wished for Bon Jovi

Reflecting on the band's career in 2018, Sambora expressed to Rock Talk, "I thought we should have made more strides to become a band."

He elaborated, “It was going towards Jon being the front-guy and nothing else. I kept on going, ‘American rock 'n’ roll band, American rock 'n’ roll band, American rock 'n’ roll band.’”

Since his exit from Bon Jovi, Sambora recorded the 2018 album Radio Free America with fellow guitarist Orianthi under the moniker RSO. Earlier this year, he appeared on the U.K. edition of The Masked Singer and he revealed plans for a new solo album with Bob Rock producing. He's also guests on the title track of Dolly Parton's rock album.

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