Chrysler's creditors are planning to make a counteroffer this week to the U.S. Treasury, which originally asked lenders owed about $6.9 billion to accept just $1 billion to keep the automaker from liquidating, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The lending group is now weighing whether to ask for equity in a company combining Chrysler with potential partner Fiat in exchange for concessions, the Journal says, citing people familiar with the matter.

The government's current proposal doesn't include any equity and asks lenders to give up 85% of what is owed them, according to the newspaper.

A counteroffer is "now just days away, certainly coming this week," said one person familiar with the talks, the Journal reports.

The secured-debt holders had been waiting for information about the liquidation value of some Chrysler assets and the structure of Chrysler's partnership with Fiat, the Italian carmaker, before providing Treasury with a counteroffer, said one bank-debt holder, the Journal reports.

The U.S. government has demanded that a deal be completed by the end of the month.

Any attempt to restructure Chrysler is more dependent on winning the support of the lenders than similar efforts to reorganize General Motors ( GM), the New York Times reports. The sale of Chrysler to Cerberus in 2007 added a mountain of debt, much of which is secured by assets of the automaker.

Should Chrysler be forced to liquidate, these senior secured lenders would have claims on the assets, the Times reports. Bondholders in GM hold unsecured debt, and would likely be crushed if GM were pushed into bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Automotive News reported Monday that Chrysler and Fiat are discussing a new management and board for the U.S. automaker under the proposed alliance that could see Fiat take a stake in Chrysler.

Among the options under discussion is a direct role in Chrysler's operations for Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, possibly even the CEO job, the report said.