Two rich French rugby clubs are locked in a battle to
secure the services of All Black playmaker Dan Carter in 2014,
according to European media.
Carter, 30, 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 wooed to
serve a six-month stint in France, similar to the contract he
signed with Perpignan for the first half of 2009.
That ended after just four games when Carter suffered a
serious Achilles tendon injury but it hasn't stopped French
rivals Toulon and Racing Metro chasing the 30-year-old,
according to the report.
Paris-based Racing Metro had reportedly offered Carter a
lucrative three-year contract before Carter had signed on for
a further four years with the NZRU through to the 2015 World
Their president Jacky Lorenzetti is still pursuing Test
rugby's record pointscorer, while Toulon's multi-millionaire
owner Mourad Boudjellal has also reportedly entered the fray.
A source in the report said: "Boudjellal has been in contact
with Dan's representatives so it will probably come down to a
bidding war between them and Metro.
"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."
Boudjellal already has seasoned internationals Jonny
Wilkinson, Matt Giteau and Frederic Michalak as playmaking
options in the Toulon ranks.
All Black captain Richie McCaw has begun a six-month break
but has said he will spend the time resting and travelling
rather than playing overseas.