19 DECEMBER 2007

Two months after the end of his marriage the newly-divorced French president Nicolas Sarkozy is already giving serious thought to installing another First Lady in the Elysee Palace.

The mother of his current companion, model-turned-singer Carla Bruni told an Italian newspaper the 52-year-old premier had popped the question and asked her daughter for reply by New Year's Day.

In the interview with La Stampa Marisa Bruni Tedeschi spoke of her happiness at seeing 39-year-old Carla "so radiant and in love". She declined to give any more details, saying: "We mamas always end up gossiping too much."

Her daughter - who had relationships with rockersEric Clapton and Mick Jagger in the Eighties - first met Mr Sarkozy at a dinner in the grounds of the chateau of Versailles last month.

Their liaison became public when the couple were spotted at Disneyland with their two sons from previous relationships.

Carla was accompanied by Aurelien, her six-year-old child with a well-known French philosopher, while the president took along Louis, ten, the from his marriage to second wife Cecilia.

Photo: ©
Mr Sarkozy, seen here publicising green issues on a visit to a ranch in southern France on Tuesday, is said to be so taken with his Italian model love he has already proposedPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
Dark-haired, blue-eyed Carla, who in her fashion heyday earned $7.5 million a year, has been dating the French premier for the past month Photo: © Getty Images