Prodrive has signed Kris Meeke to drive for Mini's team in the World Rally Championship next year, according to our sister site Autosport.

The reigning Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion has been linked with the team since its assault on the championship was confirmed in July.

See the official sketch of the Mini Countryman WRC car

A source close to Prodrive told Autosport, “The deal with Kris is done. [Prodrive chairman] David Richards has talked a great deal about having a British driver and he’s been as good as his word.”

Richards has previously expressed a desire to recruit a new young team of engineers, mechanics and drivers to help achieve similar success to the Subaru glory days.

Read more on Mini's return to rallying

Richards told Autocar: “The whole idea and the whole concept is to recreate what we did with young people in the Subaru days, and our job is to give them all the resources they need to do the job properly and to stand back and let them get on with it.

“In the same vein we took on Colin McRae and Richard Burns, we want to do that again. We want to create a team that everybody feels part of and passionate about. I remember the days when we were running Colin and the following which we created.”

Read the news story: Prodrive 'wants Brit in Mini'

Read John McIlroy’s blog: Mini goes rallying

Meeke denied any deal had been done with the Prodrive team, and said: “My focus remains on this year and winning rallies with Peugeot.”

Marcus Gronholm, the former World Rally Champion is said to be lined up to test the new Mini Countryman WRC in Portugal next week, before deciding whether to sign for the team.

The former Junior champion and Suzuki WRC driver P-G Andersson also has an offer to drive for Mini from next year.

Read about Mini’s new 4x4 Countryman coupé

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