Petronas Yamaha SRT remain optimistic that Valentino Rossi could ride for them in the 2021 MotoGP season, according to team principal Razlan Razali.
Rossi, a nine-time world champion in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, will compete for Monster Energy Yamaha this year and could return to the track as soon as July with the season set to kick off with back-to-back races in Jerez.
But with the Italian yet to decide on possible retirement, the Yamaha Factory team have made the move to sign Fabio Quartararo for 2021.
In what could prove to be a direct swap, there is a possibility that Rossi could end up at Petronas Yahama SRT should he decide to prolong his career.
The Yamaha satellite team would certainly welcome this prospect, although that is far from a done deal.
"Last time I check, he (Rossi) hasn't called me yet," said Razlan, with a laugh, in an exclusive interview on FOX Sports Asia. "So we're still waiting for him to call.
"But the key factor is to receive a call from Valentino, speak to him, get into his mind to understand what he wants, his motivation and -- of course -- for him to ask us a lot of questions as well.
"I think that's key because all this while he's been in a factory [team] and coming to a satellite team is a lot different."
Given his stature, Rossi is understandably afforded far more liberties than the average MotoGP rider when it comes to a decision, although Razlan admits his team cannot delay deciding on their lineup for 2021 for too long
"We're giving him time but, unfortunately, that time has a limit because we need to confirm our second rider -- the sooner the better.
Razlan said he would want a decision by the end of May and with confirmation by the end of August.
There has been a consensus that if Rossi does move to the Yamaha satellite team it would not just be for a swansong but that he would actually still be looking to compete and challenge for podium finishes.
That seems to be a sentiment that both rider and team seem to be agreeing on, and one that the Petronas Yamaha SRT head was keen to reiterate.
"It's not as simple as [we] sign him up and that's it," Razlan explained. "I think it's more towards Valentino himself.
"Being who he is, it's not easy to just make that decision [on retiring]. He has to be sure, he needs to determine his level of motivation, what we can offer to him and what he can offer to us."