Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz would be open to a coalition with anyone who is interested, but his eyes remain firmly on the prize, he told CNBC Monday.
"My goal is first of all to see the SPD, after the election, become the strongest political force in the country and for me to become the chancellor of the Federal Republic," the centre-left candidate said of Germany's upcoming general election in September.
"Whoever is interested to join the government led by me is invited to join it after the election and to open a dialogue with me," he added.
The SPD's most likely bedfellow is perhaps 'the left', Germany's democratic socialist Die Link party, prompting concern from some voters.
Schulz's approval rating has been on the up in recent months, with opinion polls suggesting he is in with a fair chance against current Chancellor Angela Merkel.
However, the country's recent regional election in the south-western state of Saarland, seen as something of a bellwether for the upcoming general election, saw high voter turnout and a comfortable win for Merkal's Christian Democrats (CDU), suggesting some public aversion to a leftist leadership.
Schulz dismissed the outcome as the result of regional issues and not indicative of the national vote.
"The vote in Saarland was strongly influenced by regional reflections and determination by the voters there," he said.