That is the claim of BBC Sport, who say the German marque have approached Williams with the aim of signing Bottas to replace the recently retired Nico Rosberg.
It is believed that Mercedes offered a sizeable discount on Williams' customer engine deal, as much as half, in exchange for the driver who is, at least in part, managed by Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff.
Mercedes have also offered Williams their junior driver Pascal Wehrlein in exchange for Bottas.
Wehrlein has been linked with a move to Sauber as well as the vacant Mercedes seat, but Williams are thought to be reluctant to sign the 22-year-old who raced for Manor in 2016.
Instead they are more keen to sign an experienced driver to work alongside rookie Lance Stroll who will make his début for the team next season following a multi-million pound worldwide testing programme.
Carlos Sainz a possibility?
The BBC also reports that Carlos Sainz could be an option for Mercedes.
The Spaniard is set for a third season with Toro Rosso in 2016 after Red Bull rejected an offer from Renault for the former Formula Renault 3.5 champion.
Despite the belief that Red Bull would let Sainz leave for Mercedes, the Silver Arrows are reportedly not keen on the idea due to their strained relationship with the energy drinks brand.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing