Newly-promoted Super League outfit Toronto Wolfpack are said to be closing in on the signature of dual international Sonny Bill Williams.
PA news agency reports the 34-year-old centre or second-rower is understood to have accepted an offer of a two-year contract from the Canadian club.
The deal would make Williams, who played his last match for the All Blacks in the World Cup bronze medal win over Wales in Tokyo last Friday, the highest-paid player in the history of either rugby code.
It is believed the offer is in the process of being finalised and should be announced before the end of the week, ahead of his unveiling at Canada House in London next week.
As part of the deal, Williams will make history by taking a stake in the club ahead of their move onto the stock market.
Williams will become one of two permitted marquee players, which means that only the first 150,000 pounds ($A298,000) of his huge salary will count on the cap.
Australian Associated Press