All Blacks and Chiefs fly-half Aaron Cruden could ply his trade in France soon according to media reports in that country.
Midi-Olympique reports that a possible salary of $NZ1.2 million per season to play for Montpellier in the Top 14 could tempt Cruden to leave New Zealand rugby.
The 27-year-old is viewed as a as a possible replacement for Demetri Catrakilis who is set to return to South Africa at the end of the current season.
Cruden was viewed as Dan Carter’s succesor for the All Blacks after last year’s Rugby World Cup but despite starting the 2016 season as the world champions’ first-choice number 10, he has been replaced in their starting line-up by Beauden Barrett who has delivered several impressive performances for his country at Test level and the Hurricanes during their recent triumphant Super Rugby campaign.
According to a Valuers du Rugby report, Cruden is already negotiating with Montpellier, who will be coached by fellow New Zealander Vern Cotter from next season.
Valuers revealed that the annual salary being offered to Cruden is NZ$1.54m when premiums are included.
Cruden is contracted to New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2017. Meanwhile, reports in the British media this week have also linked him with Premiership clubs Harlequins and Worcester.
The Rugby Paper reports that Cruden’s representatives have made enquiries to a number of Premiership clubs, but he “will only consider making a move if his £700,000 (NZ$1.25m) wage demands are met”.