Wallabies lock Sitaleki Timani could be playing for the Rebels in 2014 after the Melbourne-based outfit confirmed they are interested in acquiring his services.
The Rebels were already in the market for a second-rower but may land a better player than expected after Timani's big money move with Top 14 club Montpellier reportedly fell through.
The 26-year-old enforcer, who has represented Australia in 10 Tests, is now set to join his younger brother Lopeti in Melbourne after his former franchise, the Waratahs, signed Bulls back-rower Jacques Potgieter earlier this month.
"Very early discussions have been had but it's very much in Sitaleki's hands to where he stands with his opportunity in France," Rebels chief executive Rob Clarke told AAP
"We wanted to at least let him and the Australian Rugby Union know that we have an opportunity for a lock and he would be a perfect fit for us at the Rebels.''
Timani's relationship with new Rebels coach Tony McGahan, who was previously Wallabies coaching co-ordinator, also adds further weight to Melbourne's case.
If Timani secures a Super Rugby contract soon and Wallabies boss Ewen McKenzie is interested, he could even be drafted into Australia's squad for their upcoming Test against the Springboks in Brisbane on September 7.