England Centre Manu Tuilagi Set To Walk Away From Leicester As A Free Agent
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England centre Manu Tuilagi looks set to walk away from Leicester Tigers as a free agent after failing to agree on terms for a pay cut with the Premiership side, according to a report by Chris Foy and Will Kelleher in the Daily Mail.
Leicester set a 5pm deadline today for all players to agree new deals following a backlash from a number of players who were unwilling to agree to the reduced terms as the club looks to manage the financial crisis that has crippled the sporting world.
According to the report, Tuilagi failed to meet the deadline and has been unable to reach an agreement with the club, leaving his contract null and void, and the centre free to leave the club.
Tuilagi is one of the highest-paid players at the club, on a reported £500,000-a-season and only last year turned now a lucrative move to French giants Racing 92, worth six figures.
A number of other players could also be set to leave Welford Road with the report adding that several more were unable to meet the deadline and look set to be stood down.
But there is some good news for Tigers fans with England prop Ellis Genge and outhalf George Ford agreeing last minute deals to remain at the club. Both players have agreed to hefty pay cuts, with the pair previously earning in excess of £1,000,000-a-season combined.
The potential loss of Tuilagi though could be devastating for Leicester as the fallen giants of English rugby look to bounce back from a couple of poor seasons.
It could also spell bad news for Eddie Jones and England with it being unlikely any Premiership clubs will have room in their budget for Tuilagi next season meaning he would have to seek a contract abroad, making him ineligible for national selection.