Persistent rumours in the French press continue to link Top 14 heavyweights Clermont with a move to recruit All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu.
The NZRU have yet to find a Super Rugby franchise for the 31-year-old Test stalwart from whom an overseas sabbatical is increasingly becoming the only solution.
At the end of his contract with the Highlanders, but still very much part of the All Blacks' plans ahead of the 2015 World Cup, Nonu's situation has sparked the interest of a number of foreign teams, especially in France where both Clermont and Toulon have been named as potential destinations.
Last week, La Montagne newspaper reported that sources inside Clermont said the club's bosses were "considering" making an offer for the 80-cap international as they look to reinforce their midfield options. (Wesley Fofana, Aurelien Rougerie and Kiwis Benson Stanley and Regan King are currently in their squad. Rougerie has been struggling with injury and Fofana is often absent due to international duty).
This weekend fuel was added to the fire when sports daily L'Equipe confirmed the interest from Clermont, reporting that Nonu was awaiting an official letter of release from the NZRU and that the centre would be consulting with his lawyers at the end of this week.
If Nonu was to move to Clermont, apart from Stanley and King, he would also join former All Blacks Sitiveni Sivivatu and Mike Delany under the direction of Kiwi head coach Vern Cotter.