"Alitalia's mission to Paris for a marriage with Air France," said the headline of Il Messaggero on Saturday.
The report said senior managers had met Air France chief executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta in Paris on Friday.
The delegation reportedly included Gaetano Micciche, head of corporate and investment banking at Intesa Sanpaolo, who led the deal that saved Alitalia from bankruptcy in 2008.
The airline has been struggling during the economic downturn and, according to Il Messaggero, will report losses of €60-70 million in 2011 ($78-91 million).
A meeting of the Alitalia board is scheduled for Tuesday. Air France-KLM already owns 25 percent of Alitalia shares.