Citroen are considering making a play for Hayden Paddon’s Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville for their fulltime return to the World Rally Championship in 2017.The Belgian is off-contract at the end of the season and will be one of the most sought-after free agent drivers as Hyundai, Citroen, M-Sport and newcomers Toyota look to confirm their driver line-ups in the coming weeks.
Neuville began his WRC career with the French manufacturer but has spent the past three seasons with Hyundai, including getting a break-through win in Germany in 2014.
Citroen team boss Yves Matton confirmed Neuville is a potential target for the open seat at Citroen alongside Northern Irishman Kris Meeke, who is already contracted to the French outfit.
“It’s one of the solutions,” Matton said.
“Neuville and Kris are the same profile for me, but don’t forget I could manage four drivers at the same level in the World Touring Car Championship.
“To have them is one scenario, but at the moment I only write down the different scenarios.
“We will know at the end of this month what is the best scenario and after that we’ll think about the drivers.”
Matton apparently has 10 drivers on his shortlist and plans to reduce it to “four or five” by the end of the month.
Citroen has entered only select events this year with Meeke, Irishman Craig Breen and France’s Stephane Lefebvre rotating in the two cars.