There has been much speculation over Hülkenberg’s seat in recent days as Williams are believed to need a driver who can bring sponsorship to the team next year.
Maldonado is heavily backed by Venezuela’s state-owned petroleum company PDVSA.
The same Brazilian journalists who broke the news of Barrichello joining Williams this year believe Maldonado will bring €15m (£13.1m) to the team.
While others claim Williams do not need the money it is known that several of their sponsorship deals come to an end after this season, including RBS and Air Asia.
Hülkenberg and Maldonado were team mates at ART in GP2 last year when Hülkenberg won the title.
Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams
Thanks to Willian Ceolin for the tip.
Image © GP2 Media/LAT