Petter Solberg will be free to compete for any manufacturer in the World Rally Championship in 2009, the Norwegian has confirmed in a statement on his personal website.

Petter, who had a contract with Subaru for 2009, having inked a new deal back in June 2006, has been left in the lurch following the companies shock decision earlier this month to axe its WRC programme.

While 'Hollywood' was unlikely to have been held to that, especially given the demise of the SWRT, his options for 2009 are extremely limited - and both the Citroen Total WRT and the BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT have already confirmed their line-ups.

"Petter Solberg and Subaru have agreed that Petter Solberg is free to enter any brand of the car he elects for participation in the WRC in 2009 and beyond," read the brief statement.

"Petter Solberg will use the nearest future to sort out the possibilities to re-enter the WRC for 2009."

It had been thought Petter might remain with Prodrive and compete in an Impreza WRC 2008 in '09, possibly under a new guise and perhaps competing alongside Mads Ostberg under the Adapta World Rally Team banner, what was originally intended to be a 'B' team for the Japanese manufacturer.

Indeed previous statements on his website seemingly confirmed this and it was noted that he was said to be 'working flat out with Prodrive and [Subaru in] Japan to figure out the future'.

"We are still talking to both Subaru and Prodrive, but we have not concluded on anything yet," read a statement on his website posted on December 20. "At the moment nothing is decided for 2009 and further.

"However, it is not likely that Petter will be in Ireland in the end of January 2009, due to tight schedules."

It now seems though that he may be considering other options and with his ex-team-mate Chris Atkinson having concluded a deal to drive for Citroen's new M2 team on the Rally Ireland, it seems alternative possibilities are out there. Indeed with the Stobart Ford squad yet to confirm its line-up a move their might not be out of the question either.

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