The former All Blacks first five-eighth last month revealed a strong desire to bring his family home once his lucrative stint at Racing Metroin France is complete next year.
French newspaper Midi Olympique is reporting that Carter will sign with a Japanese side to end his career. Carter recently told a fan on Twitter that he would play rugby for two more years.
This week he was named as Mastercard ambassador for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Racing Metro co-trainer Laurent Labit has told Le Parisien last month that Carter’s recent injury woes leave him uncertain to play an extra year.
“He’s thinking right now,” says co-trainer Laurent Labit. Will he sign for another year? We do not know it yet. He will only do it if he is sure that his body is following. “
Carter joined the Paris-based club after guiding the All Blacks to successive crowns at the 2015 World Cup on a deal worth over $6 million (NZD) – a salary that, at the time, made him the world’s highest paid player.
Enjoying instant success, Carter helped Racing claim their first Top 14 title in 26 years, though the club could not pull off the double, losing to Saracens in the European Cup final.
Carter has options once fulfilling his duties in France. Largely stress-free stints in Japan are favourable stopovers for many top players nearing the end of their respective careers.
In just one example, after playing over 100 games for Toulon, former Wallabies playmaker Matt Giteau joined Suntory this year. Carter may yet follow a similar route.
For now, the 35-year-old only appears clear that he will, one day soon, leave France and return home.
“I’m kind of going through those thoughts at the moment – whether I stay or whether I look at other opportunities,” Carter told Radio Sport’s Martin Devlin last month.
“Home, New Zealand, is where the family is and that’s a big part of my life. My personal family, my two boys and beautiful wife, they’ve sacrificed a lot coming over to the other side of the world to be with me so it would be nice to return the favour one day and move back to New Zealand so they’re able to spend time with our families; spend time with their cousins and have the same upbringing we did.
“They’re decisions I’m weighing at the moment. I’m not young and single anymore thinking about yourself and where you’re going to be playing next and where next pay cheque will be. You’ve got to start putting your family first and that’s one of my biggest priorities at the moment.”