Signing Sebastien Ogier now Citroen's priority for 2018 WRC

Citroen team principal Yves Matton says signing Sebastien Ogier is now his priority for the 2018 World Rally Championship

Signing Sebastien Ogier now Citroen's priority for 2018 WRC

Four-time WRC champion Ogier has been in discussion with his former employer over the last month and Matton can now see no major obstacles to a deal to bring Ogier back to the team he left in 2011.

"We are making it our priority in our plans to make him join our team," Matton told Autosport.

"We are step-by-step right now and it's difficult to say what will be his final answer - for sure, we are not the only ones who are trying to convince him!

"At the moment there is not a major obstacle.

"That's not to say there may not be an obstacle and it could be a major one, but at the moment we are going around the different points to find what are his expectations and our expectations and our targets."

Asked how confident he was of Ogier driving a C3 WRC next season, Matton replied: "It doesn't matter if it's 90% or 10%, if it's not 100%, it's not signed.

"It would be good to have him back, but the priority is to have the fastest driver - that he is French and we are a French team is, what you would say in English: the cherry on top of the cake."

Ogier's other option for next season is to remain with M-Sport.

He said last month that staying in the Ford Fiesta was his preference, but that he would only remain with M-Sport if Ford works support returned or a major backer was found.

DAVID EVANS: Why Ford must return to the WRC

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson confirmed he remained in negotiations with Ogier and is still hopeful about his chances of keeping him.

Ogier told Autosport he wanted his future sorted before the end of this month.

"Last year it went on too long," said the championship leader, whose M-Sport deal was not sealed until December last year following Volkswagen's shock exit.

"I don't want that again."

Citroen gave Ogier his WRC break but he left under a cloud after the team failed to manage his acrimonious relationship with Sebastien Loeb.

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