The former Brexit negotiator of the European Union, Michel Barnier, wants to run as a candidate for the presidential election in France next year.

The 70-year-old wants to challenge incumbent Emmanuel Macron, he said on TF1 on Thursday evening.

To do this, Barnier first has to face an internal area code of his conservative party "Les Republicains".

The AFP agency had previously reported on his ambitions.

In February, Barnier had already sparked speculation about a presidential candidacy by setting up a working group in the French parliament.

The former foreign minister announced in December that he would serve his country in a different way once negotiations with Great Britain were concluded.

He didn't give any details at the time.

The news agency Reuters learned from diplomatic circles in Brussels that Barnier was "actively examining his chances" for the 2022 election.

Macron's supporters are likely to follow Barnier's next steps closely, as there is likely to be some overlap among voters.

According to polls, Macron and the right wing Marine Le Pen would currently reach the second round of the presidential election.

The presidential election in France is due to take place in April 2022.