Ireland international Bundee Aki is “getting closer” to a new contract with Connacht, according to head coach Andy Friend.
There was speculation that the 29-year-old was considering a move away from the Irish province when his current contract finishes up in the summer with a number of French clubs reportedly interested in the Connacht star.
However, it now seems the IRFU are confident that he will sign a centralised contract.
Speaking at a PRO14 event, Friend stated that Bundee Aki is positive about remaining in the west of Ireland.
“I believe that with every day it’s getting closer. There’s certainly a lot of positivity coming out of Bundee around his energy towards Connacht and our energy towards him.
Aki, who missed Connacht’s lost to Toulouse in the Champions Cup at the weekend, first signed for the province ahead of the 2014-15 season and has made over 90 appearances in the green shirt.
Friend admitted that the New Zealand born player is a central figure in Connacht’s future plans and shared his hope that the matter will be resolved soon.
“Listen, he’s been fantastic in his time here and we continue to see the man growing every day. He’s got great energy around the group, he’s very passionate towards Connacht and everything we’re doing.
“He’s a big part of us moving forward, so with every day we get closer and fingers crossed the decision is made the right way.”