French rugby club Toulon say they have signed former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga but the player's New Zealand agent won't confirm the deal.
The French second division rugby side yesterday said they had signed Umaga on a one-year deal, AFP reported.
The 33-year old was set to arrive at the club at the end of October after playing for Wellington in the inaugural Air New Zealand Cup.
"I can hardly believe it," said Toulon's co-president Mourad Boudjellal.
"Umaga is one of the most emblematic players on the planet."
Toulon general manager Alain Teixidor did not hide his delight at signing the midfielder.
"He is the best player in the world and his arrival at Toulon will be beneficial to us," he said.
But when Umaga's agent Rob Brady was told Toulon had claimed to have signed Umaga, he told NZPA he had no comment to make on the report.
However Brady did confirm they were close to finalising a deal.
Brady could not explain why Toulon had already announced Umaga's signing.
Umaga, who retired from international rugby last year, stands to make a significant windfall.
Leading French sports publication L'Equipe reported last week the midfield back could net around 350,000 euros ($727,000) a month.
Under the proposed arrangement, Umaga would also be available to play in next year's Super 14 for the Hurricanes.