Hurricanes star Beauden Barrett could be heading north in a shock transfer to join the Blues.
The embattled franchise attempted to lure the two-time World Rugby Player of the Year to Auckland in 2016, before he eventually re-committed to the Hurricanes.
But according to NZME, the Blues are now confident they've done enough to secure Barrett's services.
Barrett is the one key All Black yet to confirm his future, with his contract with the NZR and Hurricanes expiring at the end of this season.
Blues CEO Michael Redman refused to weigh in on the matter, insisting they don't make comment on player movement or recruitment matters.
Barrett had originally intended to announce his re-signing with NZ Rugby on Wednesday alongside lock Brodie Retallick, who extended his contract through until 2023, NZME reports.
But like Retallick, Barrett has already planned a sabbatical for next year, meaning he wouldn't feature for the Blues until 2021.
The decision to delay may be to avoid creating any potential distractions within the Hurricanes camp, with the side scheduled to play the Blues in Wellington on Saturday.
The transfer would be an enormous boost to the perennial struggler Blues, who have been searching for an elite pivot for years.
This year they've used Otere Black, Harry Plummer, and Stephen Perofeta in another failed campaign that will see them miss the playoffs for the eighth-straight season.
Debuting in 2011, the 28-year-old Barrett has played his entire Super Rugby career with the Hurricanes and powered the franchise to its first title in 2016.
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