Whyte has held an interim heavyweight title since March, giving him the mandatory position to challenge for Fury's belt.
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte made mandatory bout by WBC
"The WBC hereby orders the start of the free negotiations period pursuant to the WBC Rules & Regulations for the mandatory bout between WBC World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury and Mandatory Challenger and WBC Interim World Champion Dillian Whyte," the WBC said in a statement on Twitter.
Fury has never fought Whyte, but ">told iFL TV last month that he'd take the fight once it was mandated and "butcher him, no problem."
Fury (31-0-1, 22 knockouts) most recently defeated American Deontay Wilder in a trilogy match in October.
Whyte is 28-2 with 19 knockouts, following stints in mixed martial arts and kickboxing.
--Field Level Media