Froch: Groves is next
World super-middleweight champion Froch, 36, retained his IBF world title in May with a points win in his second fight with Mikkel Kessler.
And while a rematch with the Dane have been mooted, talks with IBF mandatory challenger Groves, 25, are underway.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Froch said: "George Groves is next in line, so we're in negotiations.
"Potentially the fight might happen this year but it is more likely to happen, if it does happen, next year."
Groves latest bout was against Uruguay's Noe Gonzalez Alcoba, who he knocked out on the undercard of Froch v Kessler at London's O2 Arena.
The unbeaten Londoner's 19 professional wins include 15 knockouts, while Froch has won 31 of his 33 fights, 22 by knockout.
Kessler - in their first fight, in 2010 - and Andre Ward, in December 2011, are the two men to have beaten him.
The Nottingham-based boxer was unhappy with Groves for sparring with Kessler ahead of the second fight between the pair.
"It's quite unusual for a British fighter to spar a foreign fighter against a British fighter. You wouldn't usually go and help them out," he said.
"He's promoted by Eddie Hearn at Matchroom, same as me, but we're from different camps.
"He trains in London with Adam Booth, who looks after David Haye. I train in Nottingham and I'm with Rob McCracken. There's no beef but it's not ideal."