Former British finance minister George Osborne is lining up a bid to replace Christine Lagarde as head of the International Monetary Fund, UK newspapers reported today.

Making his interest known to friends, Osborne said the job required a "skilled political communicator and operator... not a technocrat", the Financial Times reported.

Christine Lagarde, a former French finance minister, is set to lead the European Central Bank, replacing Mario Draghi.  

An opponent of Brexit, Osborne is currently editor of London's Evening Standard newspaper after quitting politics in the wake of Britain voting in a referendum three years ago to quit the European Union.

Media today said Osborne would need the support of Britain's new prime minister to stand a chance of succeeding Lagarde. 

The former Conservative MP is backing favourite Boris Johnson to replace Theresa May as British prime minister.

Mario Draghi is also seen as a strong candidate to become IMF chief, with the global-crisis lender having always chosen a European to lead the Fund since its creation in the aftermath of World War II.

British bookmakers also have outgoing Bank of England governor Mark Carney, a Canadian-UK national, among their favourities to succeed Lagarde.