Sale Sharks are poised to announce the blockbuster signing of England centre Manu Tuilagi in the next 48 hours after agreeing a deal, according to RUCK sources.
The 29-year-old was one of five players to have departed, alongside Kyle Eastmond, Telusa Veainu, Greg Batemen and Noel Reid, Tigers CEO Andrea Pinchen said in a video posted on the club website.
The Daily Telegraph has added that the 43-cap England centres contract will extend past the remainder of the present season and will run until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
We understand his deal will be worth around £300,000 per season, which will be £160,000 less than what he would have been earning on his original Leicester Tigers.
- Sir Ian McGeechan picks his all-time dream team
- 5 awesome pubs owned by rugby players
- How the BBC rated England’s players in 2003 final
- RANKED | The 5 Dirtiest Rugby Players in History
- England Players Who Started With a Bang But Faded Fast
Despite accepting a lower offer, it’s thought that Tuilagi will take Tigers to court to claim any losses from his existing Tigers deal which runs until next summer.
Tuilagi, who turned down a big-money move to Racing 92 in 2019 to show loyalty to Tigers, is thought to have felt somewhat betrayed when asked to take a reduced salary.
A number of influential sports lawyers have already indicated that Leicester wouldn’t ‘ have a leg to stand on’ if Tuilagi pursued this in court.
JOIN THE RUCK:
Sir Ian McGeechan picks his dream team, and it’s as fearsome as you’d expect
Fullback: JPR Williams (Wales) – “Not a staggeringly original choice, I’ll admit. But to my mind the only one. If I’m going to be picking a dream XV over the next few days then I want JPR at the back. No question.”
Left-wing: Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) – “Illness and injury ultimately slowed him down. But his performances at the 1995 World Cup, just as the game was turning professional, will never be forgotten. The game needed a superstar, and it got one in Lomu. He was brilliant for rugby.”
Right-wing: John Kirwan (New Zealand) – “He had an all round game; he could carry the ball through heavy traffic, he could offload, he was like an extra back-rower at times. Plus, he had natural effortless pace. He ended up scoring 35 tries for the All Blacks and was instrumental as they went through their unbeaten spell of games between 1987 and 1990.”
Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – “His ability to get back on his feet after tackling to compete for the ball was extraordinary, and ensured he always had an impact on the game, whatever type of game it was. He was such a natural talent.”
Inside-centre: Philippe Sella (France) – “Sella and O’Driscoll were powerful men. They could stop a forward in his tracks. I think as a pair they would dominate any midfield and I like the thought of them together.”