Rumours on both sides of the Atlantic suggest Wal-Mart is planning a "significant deal" which could substantially increase its store portfolio in the UK. The Bentonville giant has been linked with Safeway for some time and there are suggestions it will be expanding its smaller format into Europe. Although France has been widely tipped as the next expansion point for the discounter, informed sources in the US suggest the UK tops its target list. Having digested the Asda deal and recently reporting an improved performance in the difficult German market, one view is that Wal-Mart is in detailed talks about a major new UK partnership. The company was maintaining its usual line that it never commented on rumours and speculation. {{NEWS }}