The first mutterings this year that Yahoo might be interested in buying, or merging with, AOL appeared on the web way back in February.

Just after Yahoo rejected the first of Microsoft's attempts to buy it came rumours that buying AOL could be a way of Yahoo protecting itself from further advances.

Talks had happened before, claimed the press, but had broken down following disagreements about prices.

But now, yet again, the rumours are afresh, this time just months after Time Warner opted to split AOL into two - dividing its dial-up internet business on one hand and its advertising operation on the other.

Reuters is reporting that Yahoo's board, which now includes renegade billionaire investor Carl Icahn, has approved a new round of discussions with Time Warner.

However, says the Financial Times, quoting a source, active deal negotiations are not underway at this stage.

Yahoo is not commenting.