Sonny Bill Williams has told his All Black team-mates that he will not play Super Rugby for the Crusaders next year and is expected to announce where he will play next year later this week.
The All Black is now expected to reveal that he will play Super Rugby for either the Blues or the Chiefs later this week.
The Crusaders have held extended negotiations with Sonny Bill and his agent Khoder Nasser but they now appear resigned to Williams' departure.
The Crusaders have resigned a number of players that can cover for Sonny Bill Williams so with the likes of Ryan Crotty, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean and Tom Marshall they should not feel the loss too hard.
Williams revealed a couple of months ago that the Christchurch earthquakes had unsettled him and by moving further North he would be moving closer to his Auckland based mother.
Sonny Bill's All Blacks team-mate Ma'a Nonu has recently signed with the Blues and as Jared Payne will play for Ulster there is an opening for SBW.
The Blues have recently signed All Black Piri Weepu so the depth of talent may be enough to tempt him to move to Auckland.