Italian executive Luca de Meo, who heads Volkswagen Group's Seat brand, is the favorite candidate to become Renault's next CEO, French newspapers reported.
Another top contender is Didier Leroy, a Frenchman who is global No. 2 at Toyota, according to the reports.
De Meo, 52, and Leroy, 61, denied interest in the Renault job.
"Luca de Meo is fully committed to Seat, as he himself has stated on several occasions since he was appointed company President in 2015," Seat said in a statement.
Leroy said: "I do not pay attention to these rumors and remain 100 percent focused on my job at Toyota, where I enjoy a very trustful relationship with [Toyota President] Akio Toyoda."
Patrick Koller, the French-German CEO of Faurecia, is another top candidate, reports said. Faurecia declined to comment.
Renault has been searching for a new CEO since its board ousted Thierry Bollore in mid-October, as the French automaker and its partner, Nissan, clear the decks of managers closely associated with the Carlos Ghosn era.
Renault's interim CEO, Clotilde Delbos, has applied to take the job on a permanent basis, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Le Figaro and Les Echos both cited sources saying that de Meo is the top candidate.