Tesco has again admitted an interest in entering the Indian market but has refused to be drawn on fresh rumours it is in talks to partner up with a local company.

Reports in the UK have said the retail giant is in exclusive negotiations with an unnamed party in India to help it break into the country after having worked its way through a shortlist of potential candidates.

A spokesperson for Tesco told just-food: “India is a very exciting and growing market and we have expressed an interest in it but we cannot comment on speculation.”

Two years ago Tesco was rumoured to be in talks with Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises in a bid to open the country’s first non-Indian grocery chain.

Last year, Bharti joined forces with Wal-Mart, the US retail titan.

Speculation is mounting over Tesco’s international ambitions. Earlier this week, chairman David Reid told retail watchers in Moscow that Russia had perked the Tesco’s interest.

However, the company has refused to comment further on any intentions for the Russian market and instead highlighted India, China and the US as “priority” markets for the company.