An additional challenger to the America's Cup awaits on the horizon.

With formal challenges already received from Italian syndicate Luna Rossa, the New York Yacht Club and INEOS Team UK, Emirates Team New Zealand today confirmed they were in discussions with a second Italian group.

"There have been communications with the lawyer acting for the Columbus 2021 challenger over the past few weeks," Team NZ said in a statement. "He has now supplied preliminary documents in relation to their yacht club and we have provided him with the required details on the process to file a formal Notice of Challenge."

The Yacht Club Imperia made their intentions public two weeks ago, over two months after the initial deadline for entries for challengers. However, the syndicate have until the end of the year to get their challenge in, with the late entries deadline set for December 31.

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Columbus 2021 president Roberto Spingardi told Italian media this week he did not believe the challenge would be directly competing with fellow Italian syndicate Luna Rosa.

"We believe in this challenge," he said. "We start from a base of 50-70 million euros, then we will see."

Vice-president of Columbus 2021 Aura Nobolo told La Stampa: "we think this is the right time to experience a similar challenge. There is a good chance that Luna Rossa will win and bring the America's Cup to Italy. And we would like to be there."