The Warriors hope Kieran Foran will want to move across the Tasman because the club, as flamboyant co-owner Eric Watson says, is about to embark on a period of excellence.
Foran is being chased by a number of clubs, including Canterbury, Parramatta, the Sydney Roosters, Manly and the Warriors, and has said he wants his future beyond 2015 settled before the new season kicks off. He's contracted to Manly until the end of the 2015 NRL season.
The Warriors have money to spend, having offloaded Feleti Mateo, Jayson Bukuya and Dane Nielsen early from their contracts and have identified Foran as their No1 target to play alongside fellow Kiwis playmaker Shaun Johnson. Watson is hoping that prospect, as well as a stable front office and the coaching talents of Andrew McFadden, will tempt the 24-year-old Foran to Mt Smart Stadium.
"In management and coaching I've got [new chief executive] Jim Doyle and Andrew McFadden," Watson said during a visit to the club's Mt Smart Stadium headquarters yesterday. "Imagine having Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson on the field as well.
Asked how negotiations with Foran's management were progressing, Watson remained tight-lipped, saying: "The Warriors are about to embark on a period of excellence, of hopefully greatness. It would be amazing to have Kieran be a part of that."
Watson caused a media storm the day after the Kiwis' Four Nations win over Samoa when he sent out a premature tweet welcoming Foran to the Warriors.
"Gt signing for @NZWarriors with Kieran Foran - exciting player. Gt game yday against Samoa Welcome to the Warriors family #WarriorsForever," read the message, which was quickly followed by a second tweet from Watson, apologising to fans for raising their hopes.
"I definitely need to lay off the Halloween punch, sorry to cause such a stir.
"Kieran Foran is on our wish list but not signed. Apologies fans," he said.
Watson laughed when reminded of the incident and denied he held any regrets over the embarrassing social media faux pas.
"You can't look back, you can only look forward," he said.
Watson is in Auckland for a few days to deal with a variety of different Warriors-related business but Doyle insisted there was no special reason for his visit.
"Obviously we're catching up on multiple discussions around the Warriors so there is no special reason," Doyle said.
"He's here for a little while, so no doubt we'll catch up with him quite a bit."