The Woking based McLaren team have denied claims from former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan that the squad have signed a deal to utilise Mercedes power from 2018 onwards. With one of the toughest seasons to date already showing signs of strain between McLaren and the works Honda factory, speculation has been rife in the Formula One paddock for several months as to what the British team can do next in order to recover some of the past form that saw the squad regularly fighting at the top of the championship tables in recent years. Despite the excitement that accompanied the initial manufacturer backed deal back in 2015, the return of the McLaren Honda partnership has failed to deliver anywhere near the performance return both parties expected on commencement of the new relationship. Unfortunately for both McLaren and Honda it appears that rather than progressing up the grid over the last three years, the engine manufacturer have actually gone backwards somewhat and continually leave the team struggling to secure points finishes (or any finishes come to that) in recent times. With the obvious discontent growing within the team, Eddie Jordan has recently announced his belief that a deal has been reached between both McLaren and former engine provider Mercedes Benz to supply customer engines to the team from the 2018 season onwards. With seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel for McLaren in 2017 the possibility of a return to Mercedes, albeit in a customer capacity, isn't as far fetched as it may first appear, despite McLaren's insistence that they have no interest in becoming a customer to another manufacturer and wish to retain a "works" status within Formula One. Speaking to UK's free to air broadcaster Channel 4, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff remains confident that McLaren can overcome their current slump in form without assistance from the three pointed star: "They don't need our engine," said the Terminator sound-alike. "They have a Honda relationship that is going through a difficult phase at the moment. "But McLaren and Honda have the resource, the human resource and financial resource, to drag themselves out of the difficult situation." From the point of view of the McLaren team, a turn around of intentions by moving away from the heavily funded works status of Honda power unit supply back to a paying customer role with Mercedes (despite the German engine dominance in current Formula One) isn't something the team are particularly keen to follow. Speaking recently to Motorsport.com, Team Principle Eric Boullier was quick to scotch the confirmation from the often controversial Jordan, stating that Jordan is "wrong" in his announcement: "I'm very confident to tell you that Eddie Jordan is wrong" Said Boullier. However with the smoke and mirror tactics employed on a regular basis in Formula One, and with a seemingly never ending list of issues plaguing the Honda Power Unit these past seasons maybe Jordan is closer to the mark that Boullier cares to admit... remember Jordan claims a deal has been signed and Boullier makes no mention of the fact discussions are not ongoing between Mercedes and McLaren, so the future could still hold anything for the once great team. With Alonso having only just made the top 15 and teammate Vandoorne languishing at the very back of the grid in qualifying for tomorrows Russian Grand Prix, McLaren top brass must seriously be considering the realistic alternatives before the big design decisions need to be made concerning next seasons car back at the factory. Whatever happens with McLaren it can only be seen as a benefit to motorsport and Formula One to see the team back at the sharp end of the Formula One grid, a place where it truly deserves to be... Check out the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment for all the latest news and discussions regarding the world of Grand Prix motor racing. Join in with the discussion and enjoy chatting about the sport with your fellow Formula One fans. Do you think Mercedes would be a good match for McLaren, or should the team stick with Honda and develop the PU together? Which other manufacturers can you see McLaren realistically tempting into Formula One to replace Honda? Let us know in the comments section below!