Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond admits Danny Cipriani will decide in the next fortnight whether he will stay with the club.
The Sharks fly-half has been heavily linked with a move to the Top 14, and more specifically to French champions Toulon.
That move will come if the 27-year-old feels he is no longer part of England’s plans with Stuart Lancaster set to decide on his squad for the Six Nations in the next couple of weeks.
Cipriani impressed on England’s June tour to New Zealand, winning his first caps since 2008, but was then overlooked for the November Tests.
George Ford and Owen Farrell appear to be top of the pecking order, with Stephen Myler the third fly-half in the squad in November.
That leaves Cipriani with a tough battle to get back in contention, and Diamond is aware that he will probably lose his playmaker if he can’t convince Lancaster to give him a shot.
“Danny’s going to make a decision in the next two weeks,” said Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond.
“He has spoken with England and he’s still in the fourth spot – I don’t think things have changed since the autumn.
“He’s got to play well against sides like Northampton, against people who are in those spots above him, and if he does that and he thinks it’s right to stay, I’m pretty sure he’ll sign here. If he doesn’t, he’ll probably take his option abroad.
“I’m not panicking, I’ve got a good relationship with him. All I’ve said to him this morning is that I need to know in the next two weeks. He said. ‘You will do’.
“He’s got to be given a run. He wasn’t given a run in the autumn. You’d be foolhardy not to see what he’s like against the other major teams in the Six Nations.
“England is the deciding factor of whether he goes abroad or stays in this country. I don’t think he’s motivated solely by money, as nobody who plays for Sale is. It’s more down to how he sees himself going over the next two or three years.
“If he gets a sniff and can break into the Six Nations, he sees his future giving it a shot for England.
“If he sees himself pushing one of these out of position, he’s not one to run away from a challenge, as we’ve seen with his career change over the last three years here.
“He’s gone from being a bad boy, supposedly, to playing some great rugby.”