Germany and other EU countries have advocated finding at least an interim solution to the impasse over rescues in the Mediterranean Sea, and the bloc's interior ministers are due to meet Sept. 23 in Malta.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer was quoted as telling Saturday's edition of German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that talks are still ongoing "but if everything remains as discussed, we can take 25% of the people rescued from distress at sea who turn up off Italy."
He said that, in practice, Germany has already taken in around that proportion to date.
A charity rescue boat with 82 migrants aboard says it has been given permission to dock at a tiny Italian island.
Ocean Viking's crew said Saturday that Italian authorities instructed the ship to sail to Lampedusa island.
The Ocean Viking, which had appealed for days for a port of safety, is operated by two humanitarian groups, Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee.
It isn't clear if Italy's new government is softening its anti-migrant policy. The previous coalition banned charity boats from bringing migrants to Italy.
Fifty of those aboard were rescued on Sept. 8 from human traffickers' flimsy rubber dinghy launched from Libya. Thirty-four other migrants were rescued the next day in the Mediterranean. A woman about to give birth and her husband were taken to Malta earlier in the week.