Swiss drugmaker Novartis is in talks to buy parts of Irish peer Elan , including its flagship multiple sclerosis products and its Alzheimer's disease pipeline, the Sunday Times said. A spokeswoman for Elan said it did not comment on speculation. A spokesman for Novartis declined to comment. The Sunday Times said a well-placed source confirmed the talks but added the complexity of the deal made a decision some way off. Elan, a co-marketer with Biogen Idec of multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, hired Citigroup in January to conduct a review of the business and said at the time a merger or sale of the company was possible. It said on June 10 it expected to conclude a strategic transaction in the near term, after talking over the past few months with a number of the global players in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Chief Executive Kelly Martin then declined, however, to comment on whether discussions had broken down with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co , as a source had earlier told Reuters. Analysts say Elan is running out of options for a strategic partnership as earlier market talk of a link-up with companies such as U.S. giant Pfizer Inc or Denmark's Lundbeck have all turned out to be unfounded so far. (Reporting by Andras Gergely; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)