The reigning European Rally Champion, who is reckoned to be the man behind wheel of Hyundai's i20 WRC test car, has not driven a DS3 WRC before, but his familiarity with the roads around Jyvaskyla appear to have given him the nod to take Khalid Al-Qassimi's seat in the Citroen Abu Dhabi team.
Briton Kris Meeke and Australian driver Chris Atkinson had appeared to be in pole position for the drive on the fastest round of the world championship, but sources suggest Hanninen will be in the car.
The Finn was unavailable for comment when AUTOSPORT contacted him, but a Citroen spokesperson confirmed a decision was expected imminently.
"We don't know yet," said the spokesperson. "Of course, we have some names, but nothing is decided. We have to make a decision soon and we hope that will be this week, but for now there's nothing more to say."
Hanninen has won his class the last four times he has started in Finland, scoring a top-10 result with a Skoda Fabia S2000 in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Hanninen did not compete on his home WRC round last season.
The 31-year-old contested the first two rounds of this year's World Rally Championship with the Qatar M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, crashing in Monte Carlo and finishing sixth in Sweden.
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- European Rally Champion