A deal that will see Valtteri Bottas replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari next season has been agreed, according to reports in Italy.

The Williams Martini Racing driver has long been earmarked for a swoop by Ferrari as a replacement for the out-of-favour Kimi Raikkonen, but both driver and team have remained coy on the subject in recent weeks.

However, with the summer break looming with the completion of next week's Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari has reportedly made the first move in firming its plans for next season by agreeing a deal with Bottas that would see him replace fellow his fellow Finn in a multi-million pound deal.

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According to Corriere dello Sport, Ferrari has agreed to pay Williams upwards of ?8.5 million to release Bottas from his current contract - which was due to run to the end of 2016 - and allow him to join Sebastian Vettel for next season. As it stands, however, no driver deal is likely to be agreed until August at the earliest.

Seemingly referencing the report, Bottas' Didier Coton took to Twitter to play down the rumours, without strictly denying them.

Should the report prove correct, Bottas' arrival will likely spell the end of Raikkonen's career in F1, the 2007 champion having already declared he won't race anywhere but Ferrari.

Bottas made his F1 debut in 2013 and after a difficult maiden campaign with the formerly struggling team, but turned heads into 2014 on the back of Williams' return to form, notching up six podiums en route to fourth in the standings. After nine races in 2015, Bottas is currently fourth in the standings this year having overtaken Raikkonen in the wake of the British Grand Prix.

A move by Bottas would also open up a competitive drive with Williams, with Nico Hulkenberg - who was earmarked for the Ferrari drive too - arguably the favourite to return to the team he started his F1 career with, as well as well-backed former reserve driver Felipe Nasr and even Jenson Button should he find himself replaced at McLaren for 2016.


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I would like to see Alonso @ Merc team up with Hamilton
Hahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa . How is that for teamates