ROME, June 12 (Reuters) - Italian defence and aerospace group Leonardo is in talks with Germany's Rheinmetall on a strategic alliance for tanks, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.

The source effectively confirmed a report by Italian daily La Repubblica, which said Leonardo was looking at Rheinmetall after a collapse in negotiations with another peer, the Franco-German consortium KMW+Nexter Defence Systems (KNDS).

Leonardo announced the breakdown in talks over a tank alliance with KNDS on Tuesday, stating it remained committed to developing a new generation of armoured vehicle platforms for the Italian Army - a Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) - "through cooperation with other qualified partners".

Rheinmetall declined to comment on the matter.

In November, Leonardo CEO Roberto Cingolani said his company wanted to focus on European alliances and create regional giants. (Reporting by Romolo Tosiani and Matthias Inverardi, editing by Alvise Armellini/Keith Weir)