The Volkswagen Group has confirmed that Markus Duesmann, BMW’s head of purchasing and suppliers, has signed an agreement to move from the Munich-based brand, igniting rumours that he will soon be named Audi CEO.

The VW Group released a statement confirming that its supervisory board had offered Duesmann – who it described as “one of the automotive industry’s most experienced and distinguished experts” – a position on the group’s board of management, adding that he would “take up his new position as soon as he is able to do so”.

Earlier reports suggested that a competition clause in Duesmann’s contract with BMW could prevent him from taking a full role within the VW Group for as long as six months.

According to Automotive News Europe (which cited Germany’s Handelsblatt), BMW confirmed that Duesmann would be leaving the company “for personal reasons”.

The 49-year-old joined BMW in 2007 after heading up development at Mercedes-Benz’s Formula 1 team. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the Bavarian brand's head of driving dynamics, before taking the head of powertrain position until 2016, when he was promoted to member of the board of management for purchasing and suppliers.

In June, Rupert Stadler was taken into custody in connection with the VW Group’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, leading to the 55-year-old being relieved of his duties as Audi CEO.