The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Thursday that the Italian bank was prepared to make a multibillion-euro offer for a sizable stake in Commerzbank.
Commerzbank would be merged with German Unicredit subsidiary HypoVereinsbank, the FT reported, and the combined entity would be based in Germany while UniCredit maintains its headquarters and listing in Milan.
Shares of Commerzbank were up around 3 percent in morning trade on the back of the news.
Commerzbank and UniCredit declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.
While the German government's stance on this remains unclear, it has been speculated that a Deutsche Bank-Commerzbank tie-up would be seen as favorable as it would create a domestic banking champion. A deal with UniCredit would mean a foreign lender taking control of Germany's second-largest bank.
Commerzbank's executive board is reportedly set to decide whether to intensify discussions with Deutsche Bank — or back away from a deal — on April 9.
You can read the full Financial Times report here.