Joel Saveuse is the frontrunner to replace Eckhard Cordes as chief executive of German retailer Metro AG , two people familiar with the matter said.

Cordes this month said he would not seek to renew his contract beyond October 2012, and Saveuse is seen as one of the possible candidates to replace him, as are finance chief Olaf Koch and Carrefour manager Thomas Huebner.

In recent days, there were talks with both of the internal candidates, one of the sources said.

Saveuse, a 58-year-old Frenchman, is already on Metro's management board and oversees hypermarket chain Real and the company's cash and carry business.

A spokesman for Metro shareholder Haniel declined to comment on the matter. A spokesman for Metro said: That is a matter for the supervisory board.

According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Metro's supervisory board will discuss the matter in mid-November, when designated Chairman Franz Markus Haniel joins the board.

There is a meeting scheduled for next week Wednesday, too, but the board is not expected to talk about CEO succession at that time, the paper said.

(Reporting by Andreas Kroener and Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)