The latest twist in the rumours linking Michael Schumacher to Mercedes GP for 2010 is that the German may already be contractually free to sign.
The former seven time world champion's new three-year consultancy agreement with Ferrari was announced in September.
Reports that Ferrari had not received any requests from either the 40-year-old German's camp or Mercedes GP were therefore seen as evidence that the rumours lacked substance.
But it emerged this week that Schumacher's new contract with Ferrari may not have actually been signed.
"I can only confirm that the agreement between Michael and Ferrari was announced in September at Monza," Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni told Germany's Express.
"I don't know whether the agreement was signed in the physical sense. But as in a family, does the word of the people involved have any value, or not?" he added.