Senior executives from Publicis Groupe in Paris are thought to have conducted advanced discussions with the founder and chairman of Freud Communications.
Such an appointment would likely involve Publicis Groupe increasing its investment in Freud's PR company, as well as bringing it closer to the advertising agency to form an integrated offering. Publicis Groupe took a majority 50.1 per cent share in Freud Communications in June 2005.
Before the sale, Freud was the largest independent consumer PR company within the UK.
Matthew Freud made an estimated £14 million from the deal, under which he took a role in the Publicis Public Relations and Corporate Communications Group.
Publicis has been without any senior management since May, when Tim Lindsay, its UK group chairman, was poached by TBWA\London to be its group chief executive.
Grant Duncan, the Publicis chief executive, quit in March after a series of account losses.
Publicis and Freud could not be reached for comment.