BERLIN (Reuters) - Michael Schumacher is close to signing a deal with Mercedes to come out of retirement and compete in Formula One next year, Germany's Bild newspaper reported on Saturday.
Mercedes have signed Germany's Nico Rosberg for 2010 but have yet to name his team mate with media speculation swirling around the retired 40-year-old German.
Bild said a deal with the seven-times world champion could be announced as soon as next week, without citing any sources.
Schumacher was lined up for a brief comeback this year as a stand-in for injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa but had to pull out due to his own neck problem.
Mercedes Grand Prix chief executive Nick Fry said on Thursday an announcement on the second driver could come before the Christmas holiday but was more likely to be in early January. He said there were about four names on the shortlist.
As recently as late November, Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm had said she would be surprised if the German, who will turn 41 in January, came out of retirement.
"Michael is enjoying his life very much. To me, a return would therefore be highly unlikely at the moment," she said.
(Writing by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Kevin Fylan; To query or comment on this story: email@example.com)
Trending On Reuters
When it comes to the wrappers of government-supplied condoms, boring is out, attractive is in, but erotic is too much. India is readying a redesign of the staid packaging of its half-century-old condom brand, incorporating pictures of handsome men and gorgeous women, in a desperate bid to seduce customers drawn to fancier versions sold by private firms. Full Article
Indian firms mock gender diversity as boardroom deadline passes - analysts Full Article