Say what you like about Wendi Deng's romantic CV, she would certainly appear to have a 'type'.

The 47-year-old former wife of Rupert Murdoch has, in recent years, required her men to tick three specific boxes: they should be extremely powerful, stratospherically rich and at least a decade older.

Being shorter than Wendi isn't a problem - she's 6ft 1in even before strapping on killer heels - but on the physical front, the Chinese-born mother-of-two is a sucker for a well-dressed, athletic gent with piercing blue eyes.

Or, as she so famously put it in a leaked 2013 diary entry detailing, in pidgin English, her infatuation with Tony Blair, now 62: "He's so charming and his clothes are so good. He has such good body and he has really, really good legs, butt.


"And he is slim tall and good skin. Pierce blue eyes which I love. Love his eyes. Also I love his power."

Consider those words while mulling over the identity of the latest rich and powerful chap alleged to have squeezed himself between Ms Deng's silk bedsheets.

But the Kremlin has denied any fling with a spokesman for Putin, pictured, saying there is "no truth" in it.

He is Vladimir Putin, the 63-year-old Russian President. A man who just happens to be the proud owner of not just an extremely well-honed 'butt', thanks to endless judo sessions, but also a cracking set of pectoral muscles which he frequently chooses to display in public.

Though he's just about 5ft 6in tall, Moscow's most eligible divorcee also possesses (and here's the clincher!) a very famous set of 'pierce blue eyes' of the type so beloved by Ms Deng.

"No one is born with a stare like Vladimir Putin's," is how Time Magazine once put it.

"The Russian President's pale blue eyes are so cool, so devoid of emotion, that the stare must have begun as the gesture of someone who understood that power might be achieved by the suppression of ordinary needs, like blinking."

All of which lends a faint whiff of credibility to the extraordinary suggestion, publicly aired in the U.S. late on Thursday, that Deng and Putin are in the throes of a passionate relationship.

A report in the magazine US Weekly quoted an unnamed Kremlin "insider" saying that the couple have been quietly dating for some time, and that things are now "serious".

"Deng has yet to be spotted looking romantic with the Russian leader," the magazine conceded.

"But [she] was seen boarding her pal Roman Abramovich's yacht in St Barts on Monday, March 28. Abramovich also happens to be friends with Putin."

A somewhat tenuous piece of evidence, perhaps. But capturing the heart of Putin, who is arguably the world's second most powerful man, would represent a timely piece of one?upmanship for Ms Deng.

After all, the news of her alleged liaison comes just weeks after her 85-year-old former husband Murdoch walked down the aisle with the statuesque Texan supermodel Jerry Hall.

Little wonder, perhaps, that US Weekly's sensational claim was being mulled over yesterday by mainstream news outlets across the globe.

- Daily Mail