LE CASTELLET, France -- Daniel Ricciardo says he is not aware of a big-money offer to join McLaren next year, but admits he is still weighing up his options for 2019.
A report in Sports Bild ahead of this weekend's French Grand Prix quoted Ricciardo's Red Bull boss Helmut Marko saying McLaren had been negotiating directly with his driver.
"Our Daniel Ricciardo is the king of the market," he said according to Sports Bild. "McLaren offers him more every week."
Ricciardo is out of contract with Red Bull at the end of the year and has already been linked with moves to both Ferrari and Mercedes in the media this year. However, Red Bull still seems to be the most likely option as Ferrari has already committed to Sebastian Vettel until 2020 and Lewis Hamilton is expected to renew his contract with Mercedes in the coming weeks.
McLaren currently sits 94 points adrift of Red Bull in the constructors' championship and, despite sharing the same Renault engine, has not been close to Red Bull all year.
Asked if he was aware of the story about the McLaren offer and whether he would consider it, Ricciardo said: "I did see it about an hour ago. As far as comments on it, I haven't been presented anything which says that.
"I'll be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, but I'm aware there is going to be interest from other teams and McLaren is probably one of them. Probably it depends on what Fernando [Alonso] does, if he stays or if he goes.
"If he does go, they probably want a more experienced driver to come in. We'll see. There are a lot of things to weigh up. Nothing really to comment on that."
At this stage Ricciardo is not ruling out a move to a midfield team such as McLaren or Renault, given the potential to help build one of those outfits into a winning team like Lewis Hamilton did with Mercedes from 2013 onwards.
"I'm not going to say it doesn't interest me at all," he added. "Probably more because what Lewis was able to do with Mercedes. If you're saying those two teams, they are not quite in that position yet, but could they be? Maybe.
"The thought of that has some appeal. I wouldn't say it's top of my list now. But I wouldn't dismiss it also. I've said with Red Bull that I'm also careful not to, just from a personal point of view, burn bridges because you never know where the sport will take you. If I do move on from Red Bull, I never want to criticise them.
"I've had it pretty good there and it's been really fun. McLaren and Renault aren't there today but maybe they will be there in a year or three years' time. You never know.
"Lewis pulled the trigger pretty well. Whether he fluked it or he said it was going to happen, I don't know! Whether he fluked it or not, he did well for himself with that move. Whether it's just a fantasy for everyone else, at least there is some proof something like that can happen again."
If Ricciardo stays at Red Bull he will be driving a Honda-powered car next year after the team announced a new two-year contract with the Japanese manufacturer. The deal was brought about by McLaren ditching Honda at the end of last year following three seasons of unreliability and underperforming and Ricciardo said he was still figuring out whether the Honda move would herald a step forward for Red Bull.
"I still don't really know," he said. "Renault has come a pretty long way this year. I know we still don't have the qualifying modes, but our race pace, once we're all fuel saving, we seem a lot more competitive. They are improving.
"Honda seems to be improving with Toro Rosso. They are both on the up. It's just who is going to get there quicker, that's still the unknown."