According to the report in Der Spiegel, high-ranking sources close to the chancellor claim she is planning to leave her position before the end of her third term, and will consider a new role, including UN Secretary-General and President of the European Commission Council.
The move would make her the first German head of office to voluntarily step down since 1949.
"She is really very tempted", a member of Merkel's cabinet told the magazine.
Merkel pledged to serve a full term in office during last year's elections, and party spokesmen have denied all allegations that she may leave early.
The chancellor herself dispelled the claims in a television interview on TV station ZDF on Saturday. "I plan to work through the term as chancellor and then we will see." That "obviously" holds true for the full term, she confirmed.
Merkel also refuted her supposed interest in succeeding Ban Ki-moon as UN General-Secretary, telling ZDF it would "certainly not happen".