The latest twist in the saga of 'where will Fernando Alonso end up in 2008?' has taken a rather more unexpected turn, with Spanish media speculating he may even go back to McLaren.

The double Formula 1 World Champion left the Woking-based outfit two years before his contract was up for renewal at the beginning of last month, in the wake of an acrimonious season that frequently saw him at very public loggerheads with both team boss Ron Dennis and team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Now, however, there are suggestions he may be on his way back again...

Spanish newspaper Diario AS has claimed that McLaren has joined previous favourite Renault as well as Red Bull Racing, Honda and Toyota as potential suitors to the 26-year-old in 2008. It is rumoured the latter four teams have all presented Alonso with offers for next season and beyond, but - in contrast to McLaren - none are said to be willing to accommodate his demands for a single-year deal only.

In Renault's case, much will depend on the outcome of Thursday's World Motor Sport Council hearing. Should the verdict go against the R?gie, some believe it could force the French manufacturer to pull the plug on its F1 project entirely.

According to AS, it was McLaren who re-established contact with its erstwhile charge, contacting Alonso's management after Spanish team sponsors did not take kindly to the premature divorce. The newspaper claims Dennis has tabled a one-year contract, to which Alonso's camp has added a list of conditions, following his fractious and rapidly degenerating relationship with the squad throughout 2007.

However, McLaren sources have moved to pour cold water on any such speculation, insisting no such offer has even been considered.

"McLaren is unaware of any current discussions with Fernando and/or his management," a team spokesperson is quoted as having told F1-Live.com.

Nico Rosberg, Heikki Kovalainen and McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa have henceforth been viewed as the men most likely to partner Hamilton in 2008.

 

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