Ford has confirmed it has approached Sebastien Ogier in an attempt to sign the Frenchman for next year's World Rally Championship.
Ogier's contract with the Citroen Junior Team ends at the close of this season and Ford's offer has left him with a straight choice between the WRC's two current manufacturers for next year.
Ford of Europe motorsport manager Gerard Quinn admitted a meeting had taken place between him, Ogier and his manager.
"We have spoken to Sebastien Ogier," said Quinn. "We are always looking for ways to strengthen our competitiveness and an opportunity came our way. His management wanted to talk to us and we took the move to do that.
"It's important for us to look at our team position. We have two very good drivers in Mikko [Hirvonen] and Jari-Matti [Latvala] and having somebody like Ogier would be good. It would be unfair of me to say anything other than that."
Quinn refused to be drawn on the precise nature of the talks, adding: "That's the subject of a private discussion." He denied that Ogier would be brought into the team to replace either Hirvonen or Latvala, only stating, "We would have to look at how to arrange the team."
Ogier acknowledged that Ford had approached him but declined to comment further.
"I have nothing to say for the moment," he said. "Yes, I have the proposition from them and I look at this proposition and the Citroen proposition and I can give you more information soon."
The Rally of Portugal winner said he would make his decision between Ford and Citroen before the end of the month.
"I think it's fair for everybody if I decide before Rally Finland," he said. "At the moment, my focus is on this rally in Bulgaria but after that I have to decide: it's a straight choice between Citroen and Ford."
However, Citroen Racing director Olivier Quesnel played down his concerns about Ford's approach to Ogier. He said: "I think Sebastien Ogier likes the color red – he prefers red to blue. I'm not so anxious. If Ford wants to speak to Ogier they can – I can't do anything. I don't mind, it means Ogier is good!
"This is the game, but Citroen is used to preparing the young driver and I think Ford should do the same – they have the young driver called Matthew Wilson. It would be better for rallying if they do the same."