FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Joerg Asmussen reiterated in a German newspaper that he plans to fulfil his contract as an executive board member at the European Central Bank until the end of 2019, despite some tipping him as a new finance minister.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives are in talks with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) with the goal of having a new "grand coalition" government in place by Christmas.
Asmussen, an SPD member, served under the last SPD finance minister Peer Steinbrueck as well as under current Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble of Merkel's conservatives.
Asked by newspaper Stuttgarter Nachrichten in an interview to be published on Saturday whether he was interested in the top finance job, Asmussen said: "The answer is very clear: My contract at the ECB runs until 2019, and I intend to fulfil it."
The SPD's interest in taking back the finance ministry it ran in the last "grand coalition" between 2005 and 2009 has faded in recent weeks, according to German media reports. Many expect Schaeuble to remain at the finance ministry.
(Reporting by Eva Taylor; Editing by Erik Kirschbaum and Hugh Lawson)