A struggling French rugby club who has billionaire investors backing them is reportedly targeting All Blacks and Blues superstar Beauden Barrett.
RugbyPass reports Barrett is one name on a list of targets by Beziers – a ProD2 side – the club is looking to recruit to boost their prospects.
Former All Black Ma’a Nonu and Welsh playmaker Dan Biggar are also reportedly on the list.
Beziers is reportedly in the middle of being taken over by wealthy investors from the United Arab Emirates who are said to be members of a Middle Eastern royal family.
The deal will reportedly wipe the club clean of their NZ$8.75 million debt and then allow the investors to use their wealth to try and recruit superstars such as Barrett.
French rugby has seen a large amount of external investment in the last two decades with multi-millionaire and billionaire owners taking over clubs such as Racing 92, Stade Francais, Montpellier and Toulon.
Beziers face a long road to joining those clubs in the Top 14, currently sitting ninth in the competitive ProD2 which features other eager franchises such as Perpignan, Grenoble and Biarritz.
Making things harder will be the number of factors working against them when it comes to nabbing a star like Barrett.
Firstly, the current salary cap for the French second division is $19.7 million, meaning despite their wealth, the new owners won’t be able to throw ludicrous amounts of cash at the first-five to recruit him or risk not having finances available for the rest of the team.
The other issue specifically revolving around Barrett is he’s currently contracted to the Blues and New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2023, meaning the French club will have to wait a long time before they can get their hands on him.