British Formula One driver Jenson Button is in demand, with Ferrari keen to poach him from McLaren, who may be forced to offer his a pay rise to keep him .

Reports this weekend claim that Ferrari are eager to sign the 2009 world champion as Fernando Alonso's new 2012 team-mate, replacing the beleaguered Felipe Massa.

A Ferrari source told the News of the World: "They (Ferrari) have already checked to see if he would be available.

"The team realise they need a stronger partner for Fernando Alonso than Felipe Massa if they want to win the title again."

However, the Daily Mail reports that McLaren are set to do everything they can to ensure Button and Lewis Hamilton remain team-mates for the foreseeable future.

The newspaper claims that even if they want Ferrari cannot sign Button for 2012 as McLaren are "set to trigger an automatic one-year extension to Button's £6million-ayear contract."

And, added to that, they are also likely to "offer him an extended deal on improved terms over the next few weeks" in a bid to keep Ferrari are bay.

But whether Button will agree a long-term contract remains to be seen as the 31-year-old recently stated that he does not want to sign a long-term deal.

"For me, it makes no sense to sign a long-term contract," Button told Switzerland's Blick newspaper.

"I don't know how I'm going to feel in a few years. I can't imagine racing at 40, I just want to race for as long as I can win."