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) -- Talks between

M&T Bank

(MTB) - Get M&T Bank Corporation Report

and Spain's

Banco Santander

( STD) have stalled recently, according to a published media report.

As of Thursday, talks over a transaction in which M&T would buy Santander's Sovereign Bank were "dead,"

The Wall Street Journal

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reported Saturday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the situation.

The report said the sources were pessimistic a deal would get done.

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The talks have faltered over who will control the merged company, the report added. M&T Chairman and CEO Robert Wilmers wants guarantees that his team will run day-to-day operations, and Banco Santander has balked at providing them, the report said.

Banco Santander has been eyeing M&T, one of the best run U.S. regional banks, for some time as a way to bolster Sovereign Bank, its fledgling U.S. business. While M&T and Santander were in discussions earlier this year, no deal was made. One of the

major hang-ups to agreeing on a merger

was the issue of control. M&T is fiercely independent.

Earlier this week, shares of M&T got a big boost from speculation that the renewed talks were making progress.

They closed Friday up $2.45 at $90.62. Banco Santander's stock closed the session up 62 cents at $12.88.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.