The 26-year-old outside half finally put pen to paper on a new contract with the NZRU this week that will commit him to the All Blacks through to the next Rugby World Cup on home soil.
But speculation is still rife as to where the Canterbury Crusaders No 10 will play during his six month off-shore sabbatical in the first half of 2009.
The big spending Toulon, set to play in the Top 14 in France next season, remain firm favourites to pick up the biggest name signing in world rugby to help their push for the highest honours in he French championship. He is expected to pick up more than £500,000 for his time in France.
That trip will mean Carter won't be able to held the Crusaders defend their latest Super 14 title next year, but he will be back in time to play for the All Blacks in the 2009 Tri-Nations.
Carter has plundered 687 points in 45 Tests to date for the All Blacks and notched 11 in the 21-11 victory over Ireland in Wellington last weekend. Over the next two weeks he will take on England in a two Test series.