Citroen hasn't ruled out the idea of nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb returning to the WRC team in 2018.

Loeb, who retired from WRC in 2012, will test the C3 on asphalt before the next round in Germany prompting speculation a comeback could be on the cards.

Citroen has endured a tough season in the World Rally Championship this year but the French manufacturer is adamant Loeb will not feature this year but was coy on involvement in 2018.

"In 2017 I have no chance to let him drive a car because I don't have a car," Citroen team principal Yves Matton told Motorsport News. "On top of that, I don't think it's a good idea in the short-term to let him drive an event. We know the level in WRC for the moment is quite high and that, with this kind of car, you need a quite high number of mileage to be at your level.

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"If, one day, something like that [Loeb returning] could happen then it needs to be well prepared.

"For 2018, that is quite far away. I have no idea. I will not tell you no, because it's not no, but I will not say yes, because it's not yes. I can understand the attraction to bring this guy back, but like I said, if that's done then it has to be done properly."

Brit Kris Meeke, Irishman Craig Breen and Frenchmen Stephane Lefebvre are all under contract while Andreas Mikkelsen has contested a handful of rounds this year.