Top 14 Orange
Chabal in shock Racing Metro exit
ESPNscrum Staff
February 3, 2012
London Irish shackle Racing Metro's Sebastien Chabal, Racing Metro v London Irish, Heineken Cup, Stade Yves du Manoir, Colombes, France, December 10, 2011
Sebastien Chabal will part company with Racing Metro with immediate effect © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Sebastien Chabal
Tournaments/Tours: Top 14 Orange
Teams: France | Racing Metro

Sebastien Chabal has been released by Racing Metro with "immediate effect" after failing to negotiate a new contract with the Top 14 giants.

Club president Jacky Lorenzetti announced the shock departure citing a difference of opinion between the player and team management with earlier reports suggesting Chabal and coach Pierre Berbizier were involved in "heated exchange" on Monday night.

The 34-year-old Chabal, the most recognisable face in French rugby, was thought to be the highest paid player in the world with the back-row forward joining Racing in 2009 on a reported €1m (£830,000) a year deal. L'Equipe reports that fresh contract talks began last year but injuries and a lack of form saw those negotiations stall.

In a statement released on Thursday night, Racing said that Lorenzetti and Chabal had failed to agree terms on a new deal and following a disagreement about the club's "sporting strategy", the two parties had, "decided to put an end to their collaboration and prefer to leave on good terms."

Capped 62 times over an 11-year Test career, Chabal was linked with a switch Top 14 rivals Toulon in December with outspoken club president Mourad Boudjellal expressing an interest in signing the player.

Chabal's last appearance for Racing was as a replacement in their 19-13 league defeat to Toulouse last weekend that leaves them seventh in the table.

The big-spending side, who have recruited heavily in the form of internationals Chabal, Lionel Nallet, Frans Steyn and Juan Martin Hernandez since reclaiming their place in the top flight, also failed to qualify for this season's Heineken Cup quarter-finals - one of their stated goals at the start of the season.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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