Springbok duo Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager are set to leave English club Sale Sharks – with at least one eyeing a return to South Africa.
It’s believed that De Jager is likely to return to South Africa for family reasons, with The South African’s rugby writer Craig Lewis having reliably learned that the Stormers are in “talks” with the lock about bringing him back from Manchester.
Scrumhalf De Klerk is likely to have several big-money offers to consider before deciding on his next move.
English Premiership clubs are having to deal with a reduced £5 million salary cap, which Sale Sharks boss Alex Sanderson told The Times would make it very difficult for the English team to match any offer De Klerk receives from a Japanese or French club.
Or what about a South African club?
“Faf isn’t contracted to us next season and that is an ongoing discussion,” Sanderson explained.
“The most difficult thing [about the reduced salary cap] is that you want to keep them all, but you can’t. Even if you do want to keep them, you are not going to be offering them as much as a French club or a Japanese club. It has been pretty brutal and it is part of the job.
“Faf hasn’t left yet but the reality is that he could get offered £1 million from Japan and that is the nature of the game. That challenge of fitting into the salary cap is quite exciting, but it is not numbers on a page – it is someone’s life and aspirations. Players have a finite time in their career and need to get paid market value, or somewhere near, and if we can’t deliver that then I cannot control it.”
South Africa’s Sharks haven’t been shy to splash cash in recent times having lured Springbok forwards Siya Kolisi and Bongi Mbonambi (from the Stormers) and Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) to the union.
As reported by The South African website, the Sharks are reportedly not done recruiting yet as they aim to assemble a world-class squad.
The KwaZulu-Natal union are reportedly targeting at least “two more players”.
Could one of those be blond-haired Faf de Klerk?
Watch this space!
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