[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/06/clint.obama.jpg caption=" "] (CNN) - Several close friends and supporters of Hillary Clinton tell CNN they are pushing for a "graceful exit strategy" that would allow the Clinton and Obama camps to come together, and for the New York senator to save face should she fail to become the Democratic nominee for president.
The discussions are not taking place between the campaigns, but rather among informal campaign advisers on both sides who are trying to actively influence and shape the debate as the competition nears a close June 3.
Bill Burton, national spokesman for front-runner Barack Obama's campaign, said "there are no talks underway between the campaigns," and that any suggestion from Clinton insiders is "unequivocally untrue."
"We are two campaigns, in real competition, not having any such talks about exit strategies," Burton said.
Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod said "there have been zero discussions, back channel or otherwise between the campaigns."
Clinton campaign aides also deny that any talks are taking place between the campaigns, emphasizing that the contest is not yet over. Clinton herself said the report was "flatly untrue" during a meeting with the editorial board of a South Dakota paper Friday.
But some Clinton camp insiders and close friends are actively floating three scenarios which they believe will influence whether or how the two teams merge.