David Haye's management are in discussions over a fight with Vitali Klitschko to take place early next year, according to the Klitschko brothers' promoter Bernd Boente.
Boente revealed he had spoken with Haye's trainer and manager Adam Booth today and been told that while the Briton plans to announce his retirement on Thursday, his 31st birthday, he would return to the ring should a fight with Vitali be agreed.
The British Boxing Board of Control confirmed to Press Association Sport that Booth had told them the former WBA heavyweight champion, who lost a unification bout to Wladimir in Hamburg in July, does not wish to renew his licence to fight.
"David's Haye's manager Adam Booth always told me that he will officially retire on Thursday, I think his 31st birthday, but that he would definitely come back if there is a fight against Vitali or a rematch against Wladimir. So this option is still there," Boente told Sky Sports News.
"Adam and myself actually just spoke with each other and we are in constant contact. We are still waiting for some numbers from British TV and then we'll see if the business case is realistic and then we will do the fight or Vitali will fight another opponent in February or March next year.
"A re-match with Wladimir makes no sense because there are no questions after the first fight and you can only promote a fight if there is a certain thrill. But against Vitali it's different. Vitali has a totally different style.
Vitali said after the fight (in July) he wants to finish what his brother didn't do, meaning knock out David Haye and David said he likes Vitali's style, that would fit him more."
Haye has long stated his intention to hang up his gloves by his 31st birthday.
But Boente added on Sky Sports News: "Both fighters are willing to do the fight, but it only depends on the business case."
Asked how likely the bout was to happen, Boente replied: "If the business case is realistic, 100%.
"We have to discuss with different British TV stations, we have to discuss with US TV stations, we have to discuss with RTL, our TV partner in Germany, and then when we have all the numbers on the table and know where the fight will happen, we go from there.
"A realistic time frame is from mid-February to mid-March. This fight will definitely have to be in a soccer stadium again and then we have to see what stadiums are available and then we make the next step.
"We definitely want a soccer stadium with a roof and we have here in Germany three different ones so let's see what's possible there.
"We have to move quickly because if the fight is at the end of February, beginning of March, as I would expect, we have to do the first press conference after Wladimir's fight against Jean-Marc Mormeck on December 10, before Christmas.
"This way or that way Vitali will definitely fight in February, March his next fight, either against David Haye or someone else. So we have to move quickly. We are also discussing with other opponents because we can't 100% depend on David Haye."
BBBC general secretary Robert Smith told Press Association Sport this morning he had been contacted by Booth to tell him Haye did not wish to renew his boxing licence.
"I had a telephone conversation at the end of last week with his manager Adam Booth, who told me what their intentions were and they confirmed it at the beginning of this week," Smith said.
He added: "The fight (against Wladimir) didn't work out as well as he or all of us wanted, but that's sport. He's been popular, he's been exciting and he's been a good boxer."
Haye opted to move up from cruiserweight to heavyweight in 2008 and won his first fight at the new level against Monte Barrett in November of that year.
Injury forced him to pull out of a planned fight with Vitali the following year, but he claimed the WBA title in November 2009 with a points defeat of giant Russian Nikolai Valuev.
He successfully defended his title twice - against John Ruiz and Audley Harrison - before setting up the much-anticipated unification bout with Wladimir .
The Germany-based Ukrainian triumphed on points in Hamburg, with Haye claiming his mobility had been impaired by a broken toe on his right foot during training for the fight.