Meeke insists he would welcome Ogier at Citroen for 2018 WRC season

Kris Meeke insists he would welcome Sebastien Ogier as his Citroen team-mate for the 2018 World Rally Championship.

Though Ogier and Meeke have clashed in the past – notably over running order rules last season – and Meeke was originally signed as Citroen’s lead title hope, he believes the team would benefit hugely from having the four-time champion on board.

“There’s no question, he’s the best driver at the moment,” said Meeke.

“He’s potentially going to win a fifth straight world title and when you bring somebody like that into the team then it’s going to strengthen it, we’ve seen that with Malcolm [Wilson at M-Sport] this year.

“Ogier coming here could be really good.

“No matter what team you’re talking about, if a world champion arrives, it raises everybody’s game – and that’s everybody including me, the mechanics, the engineers.”

Should Ogier decide to remain at M-Sport, Citroen team principal Yves Matton said he will stick with Meeke, Craig Breen and Stephane Lefebvre as his drivers.

The only change would be the potential addition of Sebastien Loeb on a limited programme.

“Seb Ogier is the only one we are interested in,” Matton told Autosport.

“If we don’t bring him to the team, we won’t go and talk to others.

“We will not add to line-up we have and it will remain the same as it is this year.”

Speculation that Ogier is still in conversation with Hyundai continues, despite it recently signing Andreas Mikkelsen.

Matton does not expect imminent news from Ogier.

“There will be no news before the end of Spain [this weekend],” Matton said.

“But I will be surprised if nothing happens before the end of October.

“Sometimes it can take until the last round in Australia, but I don’t think [anybody] wants this.”

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