London: Renault are considering several rival bids for their Formula One team, according to the sport`s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
The Briton told Monday`s Times newspaper that former BAR and Benetton team boss David Richards, whose Prodrive company has been linked to a takeover of the former champions, was one of several interested parties.
"Richards is up against more than somebody," said Ecclestone.
"There is the Gerard Lopez group, there is David Richards and then there are another two people."
Lopez is the founder of technology investment company Mangrove Capital Partners and chairman of Luxembourg-based fund Genii capital.
The businessman has also invested in Gravity Sport Management, whose athletes include China`s Ho-Pin Tung. Tung, the first Chinese to drive a Formula One car, recently tested with Renault in Spain.
Renault, who have not commented on the recent speculation, said last month that they would decide their Formula One future by the end of the year.
The company board is expected to meet in Paris this week with media reports speculating that they are considering selling a controlling stake to outside investors in a partnership deal that would see the team continue to race with their engines.
The team were handed a suspended permanent ban in September for their involvement in a race-fixing controversy which resulted in ex-principal Flavio Briatore being barred for life. Briatore is appealing that ban.
Ecclestone hoped a deal would be done soon. "I don`t think there is any big rush to get something done, but the sooner the better for everybody," he said. "I hope it can be done within the next 10 days and before everybody breaks up for Christmas."
Renault have signed Poland`s Robert Kubica as one of their drivers for 2010 but have yet to confirm his team mate. Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who won two titles with the French carmaker, has joined Ferrari.