In a bombshell world exclusive sources tell The ENQUIRER that O.J. SIMPSON never got rid of the knife he used to kill his ex-wife NICOLE BROWN and her pal RON GOLDMAN – and NOW he’s trying to sell the murder weapon to a wealthy collector!

Nearly two decades af­ter the grisly crime that riveted the nation, the dis­graced former football star – who’s currently locked up in a Nevada prison for kidnapping and armed robbery – is trying to work out a $5 million deal with an agent who trades in memorabilia, says an in­sider.

“O.J. wants the deal to be a well-kept secret,” con­fided the insider. “He’s looking for a strictly cash deal so that the money can be deposited in offshore accounts and can’t be traced directly to him.”

It’s long been speculated that shortly after the June 12, 1994, murders, O.J. dumped the knife in a trash bin at LAX before boarding a flight to Chicago, and that the weapon wound up buried in a Los Angeles landfill. Other reports suggest that O.J. disposed of the knife in a park near the Howard Johnson O’Hare Plaza Hotel, where he stayed in Chicago.

But “that isn’t the truth,” the insider main­tained. “Those claims were just red herrings.”

Based on forensic evidence, prosecutors at his trial said the murder weapon was likely a Ger­man stiletto with a bronze heel and a blade that measured more than six inches long with two sharp edges that tapered to a point. But despite intense searches in L.A. and Chicago, police failed to locate the knife – and O.J. was acquitted of both murders in October 1995.

Although O.J., 65, refused to tell the agent he wants to broker the deal exactly where the knife is now, he revealed that he initially kept it hidden very close to his Rockingham estate and then moved it to Pacific Palisades, Calif., where he rented a house after his murder trial.

He also said he took it with him when he moved to Florida in 2000 – and many people in O.J.’s circle now believe he may have later hidden the knife in the Baha­mas, where he’d frequently vis­ited.

“They think it’s hidden someplace where it is safe and still under his con­trol,” explained the insider. “O.J. said he’d reveal the location once a firm deal – for a minimum of $5 million – was reached.”

Although O.J. has no use for the cash until at least 2017, when he’s eligible for parole, the insider says “it’s not just about the money. O.J. will get a sick satisfaction from putting one over on the cops and Ron Goldman’s family. He’d love to think he’s outsmarted them.” O.J. was found li­able for the deaths of Nicole and Ron in a 1997 civil suit brought by Ron’s family. The Goldmans were awarded $33.5 mil­lion, but O.J. has gone to great lengths to keep them from collecting.

“It amuses O.J. that he’ll be able to make millions from his prison cell for selling the murder weapon, knowing that the Goldmans won’t ever get a single penny,” said the insider.

“Meanwhile, there are collectors who would jump at the chance to own that knife.

“It’s a piece of crime history that’s be­come a sick American pop culture icon.”