Worcester and Wasps eye Manu Tuilagi deal
Wasps and Worcester are the latest clubs to approach with offers for Manu Tuilagi
The Leicester and England powerhouse centre is out of contract at the end of season
Saracens had offered £400,000 for the star, but that has since been dwarfed
Rugby league convert Sam Burgess set a rugby union record last season at £500,000
Manu Tuilagi is set to become the Aviva Premiership’s highest-paid player of all time after Worcester and Wasps joined the fight with huge offers to prise the England centre away from Leicester.
The 24-year-old England international, who missed the World Cup through a combination of injury and disciplinary issues, now has numerous options on the table with at least four Aviva Premiership clubs interested in striking a deal.
Rugby director Richard Cockerill has already claimed Tuilagi would become one of the world’s top earners if he signs the new deal at the Tigers.
But the 24-year-old Samoa-born centre is now the subject of a bidding war, with Worcester and Wasps ready to complete deals worth in excess of £500,000 a year while Saracens remain a contender to sign the England centre.
French giants Toulouse have also previously been interested in signing Tuilagi.
The expansion of the Premiership salary cap by £1m starting next season allows top clubs to bolster their squads with Tuilag’s availability making him a top a target for a number of clubs.
The addition of a second marquee player for each club – whose salary is exempt from the cap – also boosts the English clubs’ spending power to compete further withthe financial strength of the Top 14 sides.
Leicester boss Cockerill though remains confident of securing Tuilagi on a new long-term contract, despite the outside interest .
He told BBC Radio Leicester earlier this month: “We have put our best foot forward, contractually.
“There are probably 10 years left in him and we would like him to be here for the next 10 years.
“We have made that known to him.
“He wants to stay here and we have made an offer that would make him up there with the highest-paid players in the world.
“We are just waiting for that answer. We would like to think that it will get done sooner rather than later.”