THE Ospreys say they want to hold on to the “world-class” Kahn Fotuali’i when he comes out of contract at the end of the season.
The ex-Canterbury Crusader is set to be one of the most wanted men in European rugby after a series of outstanding displays for the Ospreys and for Samoa in the autumn internationals.
Already Racing Metro and Montpellier are said to be casting covetous eyes in the direction of the 30-year-old.
But the Ospreys haven’t given up hope they will retain Fotuali’i, who has skippered them in their last two matches and enjoys living in the area.
“I’d like to see him staying,” said the region’s backs coach Gruff Rees ahead of the game with Toulouse at the Liberty on Saturday.
“He’s a world-class nine and some of the things he does defensively are sensational in terms of the way he reads the game.
“His snap decision-making and his ability to see things and do them in an instant put him a step ahead of most players I’ve seen.”
Capped 14 times by Samoa, the 30-year-old is that priceless commodity, a player who has no fear and who is in awe of nothing on a rugby field.
He also has a sharp rugby intelligence that allows him to play what’s in front of him instead of being a slave to a game-plan.
But whether he stays could depend on how much he is enjoying being at the Ospreys, because if it comes to an auction for his services there are clubs out there who have deeper pockets than the Welsh region.
The Pro12 champions are also in negotiations with Dan Biggar, who, like Fotuali’i, is out of contract at the end of the season.
They have been delighted with the development of Matthew Morgan, but Biggar has scored more than 1,100 points for the region and played more than 100 games despite being just 23.
“Talks are ongoing with Dan,” said Rees.
“We have a great relationship and he loves it here. From my point of view, the hope is it will all be concluded as quickly as possible.
“I’d love to have Kahn and Dan, two, plus the other pair of half-backs we have (Rhys Webb and Morgan), who complement Kahn and Dan’s strengths. If we keep those I’d be in a really confident place about the future direction of this team, but we know there are budgetary restrictions and things we have to work our way around.”