Though it has been widely assumed that he will either switch to McLaren-Mercedes or else stay put at Williams for another season in 2010, it now transpires that another party has joined in the bidding process for the services of Nico Rosberg, one of Formula 1's hottest young properties, next year - current world championship leaders Brawn GP.

According to German newspaper Bild, Brawn GP has made an offer to Rosberg - with speculation that Rubens Barrichello will not be retained alongside Jenson Button - but the publication added that McLaren remains the 24-year-old's first choice, where he would replace Heikki Kovalainen. The Finn has largely failed to live up to expectations during his two seasons at the Woking-based outfit in 2008 and 2009, triumphing just once to team-mate Lewis Hamilton's six victories over the same period, and generally proving unable to get close to the 2008 F1 World Champion's pace.

Williams, however, is adamant that it intends to hold onto its star asset for a fifth consecutive campaign, and has already once successfully rebuffed McLaren's advances, when the latter tried to swoop in to poach him in place of the prematurely departing Fernando Alonso at the end of 2007.

Then, it was reported that neither Williams nor Rosberg's father - 1982 title-winner Keke - were happy about the move so early in his career at the highest level, whereas now it appears it is Hamilton's father and manager Anthony who 'is not enthusiastic' about the prospect. Should the inaugural GP2 Series Champion indeed jump ship to the Silver Arrows, he would be far from willing to play the dutiful number two role.

"It looks good that I can go where I want to go," Rosberg revealed, admitting that he hopes to have a deal signed and sealed within the next few weeks, "but I haven't decided yet."

If he does move to McLaren, the Wiesbaden-born ace will become the first German to drive for a works Mercedes team in the top flight since Karl Kling more than half a century ago back in 1955.

A Brawn GP spokesperson told Crash.net: "We have no comment to make on any speculation regarding the team or our drivers."