Former Kiwis international Kieran Foran's plans to return to the NRL may be in jeopardy as the New South Wales Crime Commission's Strike Force Narulda continues their investigation into alleged match fixing.
Foran is hoping to make a playing comeback next season and is considering a move to New Zealand and a one-year deal with the Warriors, while rival NRL clubs Melbourne and Canterbury are also believed to be chasing his signature.
The former Manly and Parramatta playmaker met with Warriors officials and toured the club's facilities at Mt Smart Stadium two weeks ago but a source close to the Warriors last week suggested a deal was a long way from being formalised.
Foran's godfather and Auckland-based solicitor, Don Mackinnon, was unable to clarify last week whether his client had begun formal talks with the Warriors or any other club.
"I'm not Kieran's agent and it's not appropriate for me to be commenting on which clubs have or haven't approached Kieran," Mackinnon said via text message.
However, a Sydney Morning Herald story today suggested Foran's association with controversial betting identity Eddie Hayson and the ongoing probe into corruption in the NRL might scupper any immediate plans of a playing comeback which could force him to consider switching codes or a stint in the UK Super League.
Hayson was reported to be a person of interest to police in June when suspicions were raised about three matches involving Foran's former club Manly.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Hayson denied any involvement in match fixing and expressed concern that his association with Foran might affect the 26-year-old's future career ambitions.
"I don't know why Kieran is living with this threat over his head," Hayson said.
"What I do know is that he has done nothing wrong.
"If what he is doing wrong is hanging around with me, then that's easy to fix. We can put our mateship on hold.
"We have talked about this and his football career is far more important than us being mates. I don't want to be a hindrance."
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg last month confirmed that the integrity unit want Foran to answer some questions in due course, while he will also need to prove that his both mentally and physically ready to embark on a playing return.
Foran strongly denied any involvement in match fixing in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in July, saying: "I've never been offered to throw a match, not once. I know that if I was that it just would not happen."