Melbourne have confirmed they are looking to get Luke Jones back in Rebels colours with the lock aiming for a return to Super Rugby and the Wallabies ahead of next year's World Cup.
The 27-year-old has been granted a release from his contract with French club Bordeaux and is believed to be keen on re-signing with Melbourne where he spent six seasons between 2011 and 2016.
During his career he earned 74 Super Rugby appearances and three Test caps before shifting to France.
The Rebels confirmed their interest but said no deal had been done.
They have missed his work-rate and versatility - able to play lock or in the backrow - since his departure.
"We are very hopeful of getting Luke back but he hasn't signed a contract," said Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson.
A Super Rugby contract would make Jones immediately eligible for the Wallabies, like recent Rebels signing Matt Toomua, who has played for Australia this year despite his contract with Melbourne not starting until late next season.
Set to leave France in December, Jones could return to the Wallabies ranks on the spring UK tour which would boost his chances for a call-up to next year's World Cup in Japan.