It is believed that De Jager is likely to return to South Africa for family reasons, with The South African having reliably learned that the Stormers are indeed in “talks” with the lock about possibly bringing him back from Manchester, while Springbok teammate De Klerk is likely to have several big-money offers to consider.
Premiership clubs are having to deal with a reduced £5-million salary cap, which Sale 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.
“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 £1m 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.”
Springbok lock Lood de Jager was previously linked with the Sharks
De Jager, still only 29, is reportedly keen to head back to Mzansi having joined the Sale Sharks shortly after the Springboks won the 2019 Rugby World Cup title in Japan.
Prior to his move to the Sale Sharks, he was an integral member of the Bulls squad.
However, De Jager’s two-year stay in Manchester has been beset with injuries and in that time he’s made on 19 appearances for the club.