A number of French clubs are reportedly ‘very keen’ to sign England and Saracens prop Mako Vunipola with his contract set to be up next summer.
The Rugby Paper have reported that the 30-year-old has opened negotiations to stay at Allianz Park, but Toulon, Lyon, Stade Francais, Clermont and La Rochelle.
With the forward wanting around £400,000 to stay in London, the newly-promoted Sarries may struggle to hang onto him with a reduced salary cap set to come into effect.
Vunipola’s explosive carrying, stable scrummaging and fly-half-esque play in the loose has led him to be just as important for England as well as Sarries, with 67 caps for his country. The loosehead made his international bow in 2012 and has since won back-to-back Six Nations titles.
His high-level performances have seen him represent the British & Irish Lions on three tours (Australia 2013, New Zealand 2017, South Africa 2021).
His brother Billy, who has been linked with moves to the Top 14 previously, is also set to be out of contract in 2022.
DID YOU KNOW? Mako’s father and uncle played for Tonga while cousin Taulupe Faletau has been capped by Wales and British & Irish Lions.
5 major rugby transfers that could still happen this summer…
#1. Jonathan Joseph to Toulon
The Rugby Paper reported at the start of May that the England and British Lions centre was in talks with Toulon about a switch to the Côte d’Azur this summer.
The deal appeared to be done when last weekend the former Top 14 and European champions announced the signing on their website only to take down the post minutes later.