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Toulon’s plan to ‘Get Carter’ revealed

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French second division side Toulon are set to make an audacious move to land star All Blacks & Crusaders fly-half Dan Carter, according to an unconfirmed report in L’Equipe Monday.


Carter, considered the best fly-half in the world by many, has already been linked to French giants Toulouse, who were last week reportedly offering a deal that would make him the world’s highest-paid rugby player.


That offer would be double the salary earned by the likes of All Blacks teammates Luke McAlister at Sale and Carl Hayman, who plays at Newcastle and outstrip salaries at any of the most ambitious British clubs, including the Ospreys, who have been in talks with Carter’s financial advisers.


L’Equipe said Monday that ambitious Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal, despite uncertainties over his own future, wants to Carter to head several key signings – but only if they secure promotion to the Top 14 next season.


Boudjellal, a publishing magnate who has poured hundreds of thousands of euros into the club, put Toulon on the map when he signed All Black Tana Umaga in June 2006. The former New Zealand captain is now Toulon’s manager, and could prove crucial in negotiations.


The report claims Toulon have already held talks with Carter’s agents and are already favourites to land the player, who if he signed would play from “December 1 to June 1 2009”.


Any All Black playing outside New Zealand automatically forfeits his right to Test status.


But Carter, who will be off contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union at the end of the year, is expected to exploit his fame in Europe for 18 months and still be home in time for the 2011 World Cup.


The arrival of Carter would obviously depend on Toulon’s promotion.


With six matches remaining the club currently lead the French second division on 86 points, seven ahead of Mont-de-Marsan. The division winners are promoted directly, while clubs ranked 2-5 fight for the second promotion place.


Toulon, according to L’Equipe, would offer Carter a 700,000 euro deal for one season with the club.


And it added that Boudjellal would “take professional rubgy into a new realm” by offering Carter an image rights deal that would help sell shirts and give the Kiwi a percentage that would guarantee him a minimum of 100,000 euros.


Carter, who is recovering from a serious ankle strain suffered in a recent Super 14 match with his club Canterbury, refused to comment last week after the report linking him to Toulouse.


Sapa-AFP – Super14.com

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