Mike Phillips linked with Bayonne move

Scrum-half Mike Phillips
Mike Phillips is contracted to the Ospreys until the end of the 2011-12 season

Bayonne are interested in signing Wales and Ospreys scrum-half Mike Phillips, BBC Sport Wales understands.

Ospreys boss Scott Johnson revealed in April they were prepared to let the 2009 British and Irish Lion leave.

French club Bayonne have recently recruited All Blacks Joe Rokocoko, Sione Lauki and Neemia Tialata.

However, Kiwi scrum-half Byron Kelleher's proposed move from Toulouse to Bayonne has fallen through, leaving a vacancy that Phillips could fill.

Phillips has been out of favour at Liberty Stadium following Wales's Six Nations campaign, falling behind Rhys Webb in the pecking order.

The Ospreys have also signed Samoan international number nine Kahn Fotuali'i from Super 15 team the Crusaders for next season.

Phillips lines up again for Wales against the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday with his long-term club future in doubt.

And any club considering signing Phillips could find some hurdles to negotiate.

He is contracted to the Ospreys until the end of the 2011/12 season so the Swansea-based region could legitimately demand a transfer fee.

The 28-year-old is also likely to spend a large part of next season on international duty - firstly at the 2011 World Cup in September and October and then the 2012 Six Nations that follows.

If he joins Bayonne, Phillips would find himself facing Wales and former Ospreys colleagues James Hook (Perpignan) and Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne).

But, if the reports are accurate, he could find another ex-Osprey - Gavin Henson - alongside him at Bayonne. Stade Francais are also reported to have shown an interest in the ex-Toulon, Saracens and Swansea player.

Bayonne are also being linked with France wing Cedric Heymans and Australian lock Mark Chisholm as they seek to become a French Top 14 power.

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