After a remarkably long saga it now appears Fernando Alonso is very close to signing for McLaren next year. Since the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, where Sebastien Vettel was unofficially announced as a Ferrari driver for 2015 replacing Fernando Alonso, there has been intense speculation that Alonso could make a remarkable return to McLaren, the team he acrimoniously left after one season in 2007.
With his likely options set on either a move to McLaren or take a sabbatical in 2015 and frantically work on joining AMG Mercedes for 2016, it now appears Alonso has made his decision and is very close to signing for McLaren for 2015. Many F1 news outlets are reporting this news with BBC Sport writer Andrew Benson stating his inside sources believed whilst both parties are still discussing the fine details of a deal, the deal is advanced enough that they would be amazed if he doesn't sign for the team.
It previously seemed the most likely stumbling block was Alonso's desire for a one year deal, leaving him plenty of flexibility for 2016, however this now appears sorted as it's believed Alonso has agreed a two year deal with an option for a third, a fairly common contract amongst drivers now.
Alonso himself commented at the recent US GP that his next move would be "probably not a big surprise." From here Alonso also later stuck to his monotone response to his future in recent weeks by stating "I have a very ambitious plan in my head for my future, which I think is the best for Ferrari as well.If that happens, people will be very excited, as I am. I am extremely happy. All the things in the last two or three months follow exactly the plan I had."
This move seems to suit all parties as McLaren receive arguably the best overall driver in F1 currently, with new engine partner Honda also very keen as they have openly spoke of a desire to have a big name join the team for 2015. Alonso has also got his hands on a team with plenty of potential, and a contract that makes it easy for him to run if things don't go to plan just like with Ferrari. 2015 is already shaping up to be an epic season, with Alonso's progress at McLaren something a lot of people will be following next year.