A bidding war has erupted for Kiwi teenage sprint sensation Edward Osei-Nketia, with at least two Australian sports organisations presenting six-figure offers to poach the 17-year-old.
The promising sprinter burst on to the scene by winning the Australian senior 100m title in Sydney last month and, being eligible for both New Zealand and Australia, an initial decision loomed over which country he would run for.
While that is still to be decided, the Weekend Herald understands several lucrative offers have been made from other sporting bodies, with Osei-Nketia and Athletics New Zealand now set for a multiple crosscode showdown in the coming days to decide his future.
It's believed in addition to the tug of war for his athletics services, Osei-Nketia also has offers on the table from three other sports on both sides of the Tasman.
Osei-Nketia has been open in his desire to one day be an All Black. But it's understood in addition to an offer from a New Zealand Super Rugby side, there are also six-figure offers from the NRL and AFL for him to switch codes — despite Osei-Nketia having never played Australian rules or league.
However, at 1.90m and 95kg, Osei-Nketia is touted as a top future prospect in arguably any sport he puts time and effort into, and the son of New Zealand 100m record holder Gus Nketia now has multiple alluring offers to weigh up.
The interest in Osei-Nketia also leaves Athletics New Zealand needing to give the rising star a reason to stay with them.
Finances are the big drawcard for Athletics Australia, AFL, NRL and even Super Rugby, meaning it's unrealistic to think Athletics NZ can come close to matching their offers. And as much as they try, they also won't top the calibre of facilities and expertise.
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But they can offer him one thing the others can't — stability.
Staying in New Zealand and choosing to wear the black singlet would mean little change for Osei-Nketia. As a teenager, still a student at Scots College in Wellington, that could be a huge factor in his decision.
Athletics New Zealand last month named him as one of nine athletes who have been conditionally selected for this year's world championships in Doha and have until the end of the qualification period (September 6) to secure their place in the team.
Osei-Nketia is for now considered a Kiwi by the IAAF, track and field's governing body.
But once he runs for a country, that essentially determines who he represents the rest of his career. Numerous hurdles would need to be negotiated if he was to even come close to switching allegiance.
Another area which could favour Athletics NZ is that he's yet to be selected by Australia for any squad, including this month's world relay championships, where they were believed to have a great interest in him.
Osei-Nketia and his management team couldn't be reached for comment.