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Weber: Renault interested in Schumacher

Formula One champions Renault are interested in signing Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, his manager said on Thursday.

However Willi Weber told Bild newspaper that the seven times champion would not consider any offers until he had decided whether he wanted to continue racing beyond this year.

"I told Flavio (Briatore) clearly that we are not talking to anyone until Michael decides whether he wants to," Weber said.

"We've known each other for a long time and talk a lot to each other," he said of Briatore. "Flavio let on that we should talk to him before we sign another possible contract with Ferrari. He seems to be interested.

"The truth is that we would first talk with Ferrari," added Weber.

Schumacher, 37, secured his first two titles under Renault boss Flavio Briatore at Benetton in 1994 and 1995. He has a contract with Ferrari to the end of 2006.

Renault are losing Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who last year ended Schumacher's run of five titles in a row and became Formula One's youngest champion at the age of 24, to McLaren at the end of the season.

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen has in turn been linked to Schumacher's Ferrari seat, with media speculation that the Finn has already agreed a deal to join the Italian team.

Schumacher won just once in 2005, the six-car U.S. Grand Prix fiasco providing a record 84th career victory, and has yet to win in the first three races of 2006 with his only podium this year a second place at Bahrain.

He finished sixth in Malaysia and crashed out at the Australian Grand Prix.

The German has an open invitation to stay at Ferrari but has said his decision will depend on their success this season.

He said in January that he did not think he would be interested in continuing if he did not have a chance to win races or compete for the title.

"Aside from saying that I will decide over the summer, I can do no more," Schumacher said on the Ferrari website this week. "I will certainly not change my mind just because the same question is always asked of me.

"I can only say that I would like to take all the time necessary to decide and to think about things fully...for the 1,000th time, I want to repeat that I would prefer not to discuss in public the reasons that will affect my decision."

  © 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved
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