Sexton in talks with French clubs
Rugby:Jonathan Sexton, who is out of contract with the IRFU at the end of this season, is considering a lucrative move to the French Top 14. Reports in France claim that Parisian club Racing Métro are leading the chase for the Leinster star’s signature and The Irish Timesunderstands that initial talks have taken place with French clubs, although a potential deal is some way off.
Last week it was claimed the Ireland outhalf was in negotiations with four French clubs with the respected Midi Olympiquenewspaper reporting this morning that Sexton has already met Racing’s millionaire owner Jacky Lorenzetti on a couple of occasions. The last meeting between Sexton and his advisers and Lorenzetti was in Paris yesterday, according to the paper, and went very well.
It is not the first time that an Ireland player coming to the end of his contract has been linked with a move abroad with Brian O’Driscoll famously photographed at a Biarritz game in 2005 while Jamie Heaslip was also courted by foreign clubs before he agreed his most recent deal with the IRFU.
In fact, Sexton was reported to have been offered a €1.1 million deal to join up with Michael Cheika at Stade Francais before he agreed his last IRFU contract in 2011. Reports over the weekend suggested he could now earn as much as €750,000 per annum.
Whether that figure is accurate remains to be seen but there is no doubt that Sexton would be able to command a big-money deal in the wealthy French league with the 27-year-old one of the hottest properties in world rugby. Barring injury, Sexton would appear to be a nailed-on starter for the British and Irish Lions next summer and the outhalf has been one of the driving forces behind Leinster’s European dominance in recent seasons.
And despite a legion of stars on their books already, Racing certainly have the resources to accommodate the Ireland international.