OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Could the fourth time be the charm for Rickey Henderson and the Oakland Athletics?

Dan Horwits, an agent in the office of Dennis Gilbert, who represents the 39-year-old outfielder, said talks are underway.

``Immediately after the holidays we would like to step up talks,'' Horwits told the Contra Costa Times. ``It seems both sides would like to work something out. Rickey would like to come back to Oakland. They are his number one choice.''

Henderson, who will be 39 on Christmas, has played with the Athletics for 12 of his 19 seasons in the major leagues, in three separate stints. Henderson grew up in Oakland and has often expressed a desire to finish his career with the team.

Playing with the San Diego Padres and Anaheim Angels last season, Henderson hit .248, stole 45 bases, drew 97 walks and scored 84 runs.

One of the team's needs for next season is a leadoff hitter, a role Henderson has filled most of his career.

Would Henderson agreed to a one-year contract?

``It's possible,'' Horwits said. ``There are various scenarios that would satisfy Rickey _ one year, two years, one year with an option.''