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The St. Louis Blues may be on the verge of landing Los Angeles Kings superstar Wayne Gretzky. The only thing left to clinch the deal, according to reports, are the financial arrangements.

The "hockey part" of the deal is already complete and the players have been agreed upon, ESPN reported Sunday.But a new contract for Gretzky must be worked out, ESPN said, and that could be the most difficult part. It apparently was the reason a trade wasn't made earlier between the Kings and New York Rangers.

The Rangers had reportedly offered the Kings Luc Robitaille and Ray Ferraro and about $2 million in cash for The Great One. But the deal fell through when Gretzky presumably wasn't able to come to terms with the Rangers on his contract.

Gretzky is making about $6.5 million this season. He likely would want a three-year deal worth $21 million to remain as hockey's highest-paid player. Gretzky has expressed a desire to stay in the sport for a few more years, particularly for the opportunity to win a gold medal in the 1998 Olympics.

He would also like to add another Stanley Cup to his collection of four, which is the reason he is on the trading block these days. Gretzky is unhappy with the way things are going in Los Angeles, and has asked the Kings to either upgrade the team so they have a chance to win a Cup or trade him to a team that is a contender.

Gretzky will be a free agent after this season, and if the Kings don't sign him they will risk losing him without compensation after the season.

Kings general manager Sam McMaster denied that any deal had been made with the Blues regarding Gretzky, but did acknowledge:

"We have spoken to the St. Louis Blues about a lot of our players in the last week, including Wayne Gretzky. We have stated before that we would entertain trade offers for any of our players, including Wayne Gretzky."

Meanwhile, ESPN reported that a deal involving Gretzky and the Blues might be wrapped up as early as Tuesday and that he would be in a Blues uniform for their game Thursday night at Vancouver.