Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earlier in the year rejected a merger offer made by PSA Group, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper reported that PSA proposed funding the merger with an equity swap in order to keep its debt levels down but apparently FCA's controlling shareholder, the Agnelli family of Italy, wasn't too keen on accepting PSA's shares.

The news comes after the heads of both automakers told journalists separately at this month's Geneva International Motor Show that the possibility of an alliance with another automaker was possible, a goal often touted by late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne in order to meet emissions targets as well as develop costly electric and self-driving technologies.

Any deal with FCA would largely finish what Marchionne started offering in 2014, when he openly explored the idea of a merger with General Motors. Since then, rumors about a merger with the Volkswagen Group, Hyundai and Chinese automaker Great Wall have also come and gone.

Should any merger between PSA and FCA take place, we'd be looking at a behemoth controlling 13 brands: Citroen, DS, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall at PSA and Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati and RAM at FCA. Those brands sold a combined 9 million vehicles in 2018, while the likes of Toyota, the Volkswagen Group and the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance each sold more than 10 million vehicles in the period.