Nicky Hayden says he is in talks with the Ducati team over a possible switch to the Italian squad next season.
The 2006 world champion has a contract with Repsol Honda until the end of the current year, and speculation has increased over recent weeks about a possible move to Ducati.
The Italian team only have Casey Stoner contracted following the news that they will not continue with Marco Melandri in 2009.
That has left the door open for Hayden to join the team next year, although the American says he is still waiting to hear from Honda.
"I haven't signed anything, but we're talking. We'll have to see what Honda want to do," Hayden was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.
"We are talking with the Japanese, but I don't want to reveal details," added Hayden, who has failed to match the results of teammate Dani Pedrosa this season.
Although only Stoner has managed to be competitive with Ducati's Desmosedici bike, Hayden claims he would not be afraid to ride the Italian bike alongside the world champion.
"I'm not afraid at all, even though he's really phenomenal at the moment," he added. "With Casey I could work better than I do now with Pedrosa, because our riding styles are more similar.
"It would be a nice challenge, if I go there or they decide to hire me. Today everyone but Stoner struggle or can't even ride it. But I'm not afraid, the bike is good."