Aviva Premiership
Mallinder: Manoa in France talks
ESPN Staff
November 11, 2014
Samu Manoa is set to move to France next season © Getty Images

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder has confirmed that American forward Samu Manoa is in talks with French clubs and is likely to leave the club in the summer, according to the Northampton Chronicle.

Mallinder confirmed that no deal had been reached and said that reports from the French media of moves for centre George Pisi and captain Dylan Hartley were nothing more than speculation. Manoa has been linked with a moved to wealthy Toulon for some weeks and Mallinder accepted that the salary cap meant Saints were unable to compete financially with French clubs but said there was more than one interested party across the channel.

"He's going to be sought after, is Samu," said Mallinder. "I do know the speculation is right, there's massive interest from France. There's a number of clubs who are really, really after him. I spoke to him and it's more than likely he's going to go to France.

"We've got our salary cap, we'd love to keep him, but there comes a point where you've got to say 'well done, thank-you for what you've done here and let's make sure we have a good season'. He's got to make his own mind up, he's doing that. There are a number of French clubs who will be willing to pay a lot of money for him."

Mallinder addressed the speculation surrounding Hartley and Pisi - who are linked with Montpellier and Castres respectively - and isn't surprised at the attention his squad is garnering given the success the Premiership Champions have enjoyed.

"It's all speculation, I wouldn't just say it's Dylan, it's George. We've got some quality players and worldwide people want quality players, which puts a price on their head, but we're very comfortable where we are, we don't discuss how our personal negotiations are going. They are ongoing with our current squad and also with other players from other clubs. We're always looking at our recruitment and we'll continue to do that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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