The phone call from Malcolm Wilson to Sebastien Loeb might have gone something like this .... "Seb, it's Malcolm. I've got a spare seat in the World Champion's car. You interested? "Yeah, I know you've never driven anything but a Citroen, but that ship's sailed. Only two cars next year, and neither of them with your name on them.
"That 'other' Seb has now got six titles too .... some of the experts are saying his six are already more impressive that your nine - you know, two different teams, and two titles with a 'privateer' team.
"Yes, I agree, your win in Spain proves you've still got it, so why not sign a deal with me, drive a car you know can win the title, and prove once and for all that you're the greatest of all time?" It's an intriguing situation for not only Sebastien Loeb, but also for Malcolm Wilson and his M-Sport operation.

Could Sebastien Loeb drive for M-Sport in 2019? Photo: RedBull Content Pool

There are plenty of unknowns, the biggest being whether a: Loeb is even interested in continuing his rally career with another team, and b: if Wilson has the budget to sign a nine-time World Rally Champion. "At the moment, I have nothing and I am open to discussions with any team in any discipline," is all that Loeb has said publicly on his plans for next year. It's not unusual for key driver signings to go well into December, and for rally fans devoid of on-stage action after mid-November, it at least keeps rallying in the news.
Citroen's announcement that they will only run two cars in 2019 has not only scuppered Loeb's hopes of a part program next year, but has also left Mads Ostberg without a seat, despite being the team's best points scorer of 2018.
Another recently unemployed Citroen driver, Craig Breen, has been linked to M-Sport, but then again, so have plenty of others. Then there's young guns Pontus Tidemand and Ole Christian Veiby who have recently departed the factory Skoda squad. There's certainly no shortage of top-level talent waiting in the wings. Social media has come up with just about every possible scenario to complete the 2019 driver line-ups, some of which may be true, most of which will be a long way off the mark. In the meantime, we'll sit and wait with interest as the bean counters and the driver managers do their thing.  
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