Citroen makes signing Ogier for 2018 a "priority"

Citroen team principal Yves Matton says signing four-time WRC champion Sebastien Ogier is now his priority for next season.

Ogier has been in discussion with his former employee over the last month and Matton told Motorsport.com he could see no major obstacles to a deal to bring the Frenchman back to Citroen for the first time since he left in 2011.

The Parisian team gave Ogier his break in the sport, but he left under a cloud after the team failed to manage his acrimonious relationship with Sebastien Loeb.

Matton said: "We are making it our priority in our plans to make him join our team. 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 said: "It doesn't matter if it's 90 percent or 10 percent. If it's not 100 percent, 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, and, at the end of Rally Germany, he said staying in a Ford Fiesta WRC in 2018 was his preference in order to maintain continuity.

But he stipulated that he would only remain with M-Sport if Ford returned or if a major backer for the British squad was found.

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson confirmed he remained in negotiations with his lead driver and is still hopeful he would keep the Frenchman.

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

"Last year it went on too long, I don't want that again," he told Motorsport.com.

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier
Article type Breaking news