Cape Town - French club Montpellier are reportedly interested in luring Ireland flank CJ Stander to the Top 14.
According to the Irish Independent, Montpellier’s billionaire owner Mohed Altrad has identified Stander as a target and is hoping to tempt him away from Munster.
The 27-year-old Stander, who was born in South Africa and started his career at the Bulls in 2010, has been on Munster’s books since 2012.
The loose forward qualified to play for Ireland three years later and has since gone on to play 18 Tests for his adopted country.
He also boasts one Test for the British and Irish Lions, having come off the bench in the drawn final Test against New Zealand in Auckland in June.
According to the Irish publication, the IRFU could have a fight on their hands in order to keep Stander.
The IRFU’s initial offer is believed to have fallen well short of what Stander could earn abroad.
Negotiations are reportedly continuing back and forth between the player's representatives and IRFU chief David Nucifora, but the presence of a big offer from Montpellier is muddying the waters.
Reports on the Sportsjoe.ie website claim that the IRFU offered Stander just €260 000 per annum (R4.1m), literally a fraction of what he could demand in the UK or France. That figure - if accurate - was just €20 000 (R319 600) more than his previous contract.