Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has called centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani to a meeting today.
It is thought that he may ask the former industry minister to seek support from other parties to form a government and end political deadlock.
Mr Napolitano completed two days of consultations with party leaders yesterday after an election last month.
The election last month gave the centre-left control of the lower house but left it short of a majority in the Senate, meaning it cannot govern alone.
With no party holding a majority in parliament, the eurozone's third largest economy faces the prospect of weeks of uncertainty.
In a statement today, the president's office said that Mr Bersani, a 61-year-old former communist, had been summoned to meet Mr Napolitano in the Quirinale Palace for a meeting at 5pm.
Mr Bersani said late yesterday that he hoped to be able to present a limited programme of economic and institutional reforms that could be backed by all forces in parliament.
However, the Democratic Party (PD) leader, whose position has come under growing pressure over his failure to convert a 10-point opinion poll lead into a clear election win, faces trenchant resistance from the other parties.
If Mr Bersani cannot gather enough support, Italian media have speculated that Mr Napolitano could ask a respected outside figure, such as Senate speaker and former top anti-mafia judge Pietro Grasso, to try to form a government.
He has said he would be willing to serve the state in any way he can.
However, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement led by former comic Beppe Grillo has repeatedly said it will not back a government led by any other party.