Former Crusader and All Black Rugby World Cup winner Brad Thorn could play one final season of Super Rugby with the Highlanders in 2013.
Thorn will turn 38 in February but has been linked with a return to Super Rugby after he met with Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph in Japan last month.
Thorn has apparently agreed to play for the Dunedin-based franchise next year although this has yet to be confirmed by the Highlanders.
Thorn moved to Ireland to play for Leinster on a three month contract after the Rugby World Cup and went on to win the Heineken Cup.
He has a two year contract in Japan with Fukuoka Sanix Blues that will finish around the end of February which will allow him to play for the Highlanders next year.
The Otago Daily Times reports that the Highlanders were also keen to sign Ma'a Nonu from the Blues but he is likely to cross Thorn in the air as he looks to be headed for Japan.
The Highlanders have already signed All Black prop Tony Woodcock and All Black hooker Andrew Hore for next season.