If you thought you had seen the end of the "will they won't they" debacle that has become the Yahoo Microsoft merger then be prepared for a flood of new rumours following comments made by Microsoft's chief operating officer this week.

According to The Times, Kevin Turner has "extended an olive branch to Carol Bartz, the new chief executive of Yahoo!"

Quoting Turner, Times reporter Murad Ahmed quotes the COO in saying:

"They have a new CEO, and she’s formulating her business plans. We’ve certainly made her aware and the Yahoo! board aware that if they are ever interested in an opportunity to partner with them on search, we'd like to sit down and at least have the conversation. It has to make economic sense to both parties".

The Microsoft Yahoo takeover merger plans have been dragging on for over a year with both sides going hot and cold over the possible deal. In November 2008 Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer, at the time supposedly laid it on the line: "Let me be as clear as I think I've tried to be publicly. We are done with all acquisition discussions with Yahoo", he told Microsoft's annual shareholders meeting, in response to a question on what was happening with Yahoo.

"I've said that a bunch of times. Somehow some people have gotten confused nonetheless. We thought we had something that made sense. (It) didn't make sense to them. We've moved on".

It seems Turner either didn't get Ballmer's memo or Microsoft are hoping to get talks back on.

We will keep you posted.