Richard Cockerill has confirmed Leicester Tigers are eyeing up a move for Gloucester star Freddie Burns.
The England fly-half is out of contract at Kingsholm at the end of the season and has been heavily linked with a switch to Welford Road.
Burns has admitted he is struggling to make what will be the toughest decision of his rugby career but knows the clock is ticking.
Any move to the Tigers will be dependent on Toby Flood’s future at the Midlands club. He has been offered a new deal but is mulling over a big-money move to France.
And if he decides to cross the Channel, Cockerill admits Burns and Scarlets fly-half Rhys Priestland are at the top of the Tigers’ shopping list.
“It’s no secret that Toby Flood has not re-signed and he is looking at what he does,” said Cockerill, in today’s Daily Telegraph.
“It would be remiss of us not to go out there and see what is in the market.
"Freddie Burns is out of contract, Rhys Priestland is out of contract and there are one or two players out of contract in the southern hemisphere and in France, so we are looking at lots of people.
“The regulations state that from Jan 1 we can have those conversations. But if those guys are out of contract on Jan 1, certainly in the Premiership, we will be having those discussions if it’s the right thing to do.”
Leicester have not set a deadline for Flood to decide his future but hope to have confirmation either way in the New Year.
A move would prompt a domino effect across Europe with London Wasps target Priestland linked to the Cherry and Whites as Burns' replacement.
Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies insists the club have done everything possible to hang onto the 23-year-old and hopes recent signings will be significant in his decision.