Montpellier are stepping up their efforts to sign All Black fly-half Aaron Cruden in what has been described as a “colossal” annual deal.
Midi Olympique reports Montpellier’s owners have given the go ahead to pursue Cruden who will be out of contract at the end of 2017. Montpellier are in the market for a fly-half after it was announced their South Africa pivot Demetri Catrakilis will leave the club at the end of the season to join Harlequins in England.
The deal to sign Cruden is reportedly worth $1.25 million plus bonuses.
The 27-year-old Chiefs playmaker was expected to take over from Dan Carter once the New Zealand legend retired after last year’s World Cup, but he has been overtaken by Beauden Barrett in the fly-half pecking order and has struggled to break into Steve Hansen’s first-choice All Black team.
Montpellier will be coached by New Zealander Vern Cotter, the current Scotland coach, next season who’s taking over from World Cup winning coach Jake White.