General Motors board of directors will discuss on Friday the sale of its European business Opel, for which both Magna and RHJ are in the hunt, several sources close to the deal said.

We are on the home stretch, one of the sources said on Wednesday, adding the GM board aimed to recommend one of the suitors at the meeting.

Trustees who oversee a majority stake in Opel -- which was ringfenced and propped up with German state aid in May to avoid being swept into GM's brief bankruptcy -- have to approve any decision.

GM declined to comment.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German states that are home to Opel plants have come out clearly in favor of the Magna offer because they think the Canadian automotive group's expertise can save more of the 25,000 Opel jobs in Germany.

Belgium-based financial investor RHJ's offer for Opel seeks less European state aid and has won favorable comments from some GM officials, but is viewed skeptically in Berlin and by Opel's labor leaders.

(Reporting by Philipp Halstrick, Angelika Gruber and Patricia Uhlig; Editing by Dan Lalor)