Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is seeking to become president of the World Bank, according to a report.

Clinton has been in discussions with the White House about leaving her job next year in order to become head of the World Bank, sources told Reuters.

The former first lady is already one of the most influential leaders in President Barack Obama's cabinet. She also competed with him for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2007 and 2008.

She has publicly said that she did not plan to stay on at the State Department for more than four years - a post she has held since early 2009.

Associates now say she has her eye on having the World Bank job, should the Bank's current president, Robert Zoellick, leave at the end of his term in the middle of 2012.

Hillary Clinton wants the job, said one source who knows the secretary well.

A second source concurred with the first. And a third said Obama has expressed his support of the change in role.

It is not known if Obama will formally agree to nominate Clinton for the post, which would require approval by the 187 member countries of the World Bank. The White House declined to comment.