Button in talks with McLaren

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The Independent Online

McLaren remain locked in talks with Jenson Button over a deal which could see the new world champion paired with Lewis Hamilton in an all-British line-up from next year.

Button has been heavily linked with McLaren since capturing his maiden Formula One drivers' title in Brazil last month, after talks stalled over a new deal with current employers Brawn GP.

Yesterday's announcement that Mercedes-Benz had secured a controlling interest in the Brackley-based Brawn team has only served to intensify speculation over where the 29-year-old Briton will be driving next season.

Button and his manager Richard Goddard were shown around McLaren's Woking headquarters by team principal Martin Whitmarsh last week, and according to today's Guardian newspaper, Button has since agreed terms on a three-year deal worth £18million, and will put pen to paper on the contract in the coming days.

When contacted by Press Association Sport, a McLaren spokesperson confirmed talks between the two parties remain ongoing but refused to be drawn on whether a deal for Button was close, saying: "The situation is that we've got no comment at the moment.

"There's been a lot said on it already and there's nothing I can say over and above what is out there."

Button's negotiations with the Brawn team reportedly stalled over his salary demands. It is believed McLaren are more inclined to meet his expectations, although the salary of £6million as postulated by the Guardian is short of the £8million figure which had been widely reported.

The Mercedes takeover, which will see the Brawn team rebranded as Mercedes Grand Prix from 2010, has further heightened the doubts over Button's future.

German driver Nico Rosberg, while still to be confirmed, has a deal in place with Brawn for next season, while compatriot Nick Heidfeld has also been linked with the team.

However, Brawn chief executive Nick Fry yesterday insisted it was not Mercedes' intention to form an all-German driver line-up and reiterated that Button remains very much in the frame to drive for the rebranded team next season.