Sweden's Saab Automobile, owned by ailing U.S. auto maker General Motors , would welcome talks with Italy's Fiat about a takeover, Saab said on Wednesday.

Fiat, not among the 10 suitors currently in the race for Saab, has however not been in contact with Saab's management, Saab spokesman Eric Geers told Reuters.

But we are open for discussions. If Fiat comes into the picture, we would welcome a dialogue, Geers said.

The Swedish carmaker, currently under reorganization, aims to win court approval for an extended period of creditor protection on May 20.

Geers would not comment on whether Saab is pressed to present a letter of intent with a new owner by that date to be able to keep the reorganization going, but said it was important to show evidence of progress.

To prolong the reorganization period, it is important to disclose in more detail how far we have come. And, of course, the ownership issue is very important, Geers said.

Earlier this year, GM put Saab up for sale and said it would cut the brand loose by the end of this year. The loss-making brand needs a new owner to secure government guarantees for much needed funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Sweden's government has confirmed it has been in contact with Fiat regarding Saab but would not disclose any details.

(Reporting by Victoria Klesty; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)