Sale Sharks boss Alex Sanderson has admitted that Springbok duo Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager could leave the club at the end of the season.
The two World Cup-winning Springboks have both recently been linked with a move away from Sale Sharks.
It is believed that De Jager is likely to return to South Africa for family reasons, while De Klerk will have plenty of clubs ready to put in a big-money offer for his services.
Premiership clubs are having to deal with a reduced £5-million salary cap, which Sanderson told The Times would make it very difficult for Sale to match any offer De Klerk receives from a Japanese 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.”
De Klerk made a delayed start to the current season after undergoing hip surgery, recently returning from injury. The 30-year-old established himself as a key member of Sale’s squad since joining the club in 2017.
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