French clubs chasing Carter
Two Top 14 clubs are battling it out to secure the services of Crusaders and All Blacks pivot Dan Carter for 2014, according to European media reports.
Test rugby's record pointscorer is expected to initiate the clause in his New Zealand Rugby Union contract for a "sabbatical" break from rugby in the first half of 2014.
The Rugby Paper website reports that Carter is being courted by Toulon and Racing Metro to serve a six-month stint in France, similar to the contract he signed with Perpignan for the first half of 2009.
Carter's time at Perpignan ended after just four games when he sustained a serious Achilles tendon injury.
Racing Metro had reportedly offered Carter a lucrative three-year deal before he signed on for a further four years with the NZRU through to the 2015 World Cup.
The Paris-based club's president Jacky Lorenzetti is still pursuing the 30-year-old, while Toulon's multi-millionaire owner Mourad Boudjellal has also reportedly entered the fray.
"Boudjellal has been in contact with Dan's representatives so it will probably come down to a bidding war between them and Metro," said an unidentified source in the report.
"Metro really want to bring him over and what they have in their favour is that Carter is set to have a young family and Paris would be very attractive in that regard."