Fernando Alonso's much-vaunted return to Renault for the 2008 Formula 1 season could have hit yet another hitch over the length of his contract, with reports suggesting the team will settle for nothing less than three years.

Reports from both Alonso's homeland of Spain, and Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore's native country of Italy, are adamant what was believed to be as good as a done deal is anything but. Daily Spanish sports newspaper Marca claims although Briatore is happy to accept the double world champion's demands for a one-year agreement, the R?gie's president Carlos Ghosn is insisting on three years - take it or leave it.

Alonso is keen on signing for one year only, as he has his eye on a subsequent move to Ferrari alongside Kimi Raikkonen in 2009, with some Italian sources convinced that is already a certainty. Wire service Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, however, quotes Ghosn as saying: "It's three years or nothing."

Meanwhile, other reports in Spain have said Alonso is tiring of Briatore's increasing pressure on him to make up his mind. The flamboyant Italian has publicly said he is 60 per cent confident of his former charge's return to the Enstone-based outfit, adding he expected a decision by the end of the week, with Spanish newspaper Diario AS hinting at a set deadline of as early as tomorrow (Thursday).

What's more, according to www.homeofsport.com, Spain's biggest newspaper, El Pais, has reported that telecommunications giant Telefonica - one of the key architects in helping to bankroll the EUR16 million-a-year Alonso-Renault deal - has gone cold on the idea following the former's repeated histrionics and increasingly volatile behaviour over the course of the recently-concluded campaign.

Telefonica withdrew as a major Renault sponsor at the end of 2006, when Alonso switched from the French outfit to McLaren.

 

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