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Citroen team principal denies rumours Citroen Racing could be sold

Citroen WRCCitroen team principal Yves Matton has laughed off suggestions that Citroen Racing will be sold to Nasser Al-Attiyah for next season.

There has been speculation in the French press that the Qatari will buy the French company's motorsport arm in preparation for a likely Dakar assault. A bemused Matton said he hadn't even been approach on the subject.

"I don't know where this has come from," he said. "Of course, we have strong links with Nasser and Qatar, but this is a partnership with Nasser driving a Citroen. Nothing has happened beyond that.

"It is, quite simply, not possible for anybody to come and buy Citroen Racing. Citroen Racing is a department of the company, it's not a separate company that could be sold - it's like somebody trying to buy the Citroen marketing department."

Citroen recently released 2012 sales figures 13 per cent down on its numbers for the first half of last year and while Matton admitted there would have to be some trimming of budgets he maintained selling Citroen Racing was not an option.

"We will be looking for more partners next year," said Matton, "in order to lessen the net value of the cost to the brand, but selling Citroen Racing is absolutely not an option."

Former Dakar winner Al-Attiyah has talked openly about his desire to return to the marathon event with Citroen in the past, but as a driver rather than an owner.

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