Ulster have lined up a replacement for Paddy Jackson but it remains unclear if the IRFU will approve the deal.
Springbok out-half Elton Jantjies is top of the list for the northern province who appear unlikely to land Joey Carbery from Leinster.
Indeed, Munster have come into the picture as a potential destination for the Athy man who has yet to make a final decision on his future, but is thought to favour remaining at his home province for another year.
Any move for Jantjies would need approval from IRFU performance director David Nucifora who appears to be reluctant to sanction the deal as he favours moving Carbery north.
The Leinster starlet's hesitancy has seen the northern province go cold on the idea, particularly if he only commits to a one-year loan deal.
Jantjies (27) has played 23 times for his country and is seen as a playmaker in the mould of Christian Leali'ifano, who covered the position last season.