Toulouse targeting Tuilagi?

Date published: June 9 2015

According to reports in the French press, Leicester and England centre Manu Tuilagi is top of Toulouse's transfer wish list.

Following a troubled season in which he played just four games for Tigers due to injury, and was dropped from the England squad following an assault conviction, 24-year-old Tuilagi is believed to be keen on a fresh start.

Toulouse are also going through a transitional period with iconic manager Guy Novès leaving the club after more than two decades at the helm to take over as France head coach.

Former France wing and Albi coach Ugo Mola has been named as the replacement for Novès while former Toulouse players Fabien Pelous and Émile N'Tamack are the front runners for the director of rugby job. 

According to RMC, Toulouse president René Bouscatel has been in contact with the player, who is still under contract with Leicester until 2016. If the deal goes through, Tuilagi would link up with former Tigers team-mate Toby Flood.

The English club would have to agree to release Tuilagi, although they have allowed French scrum-half David Mélé to join Toulouse despite having two years left on his contract.

Toulouse have been particularly quiet in the transfer market with only three players – Mélé, Fijian wing Semi Kunatani and  South African prop Gert Müller (Bayonne) – having been confirmed as new signings for next season.

The four-time European champions are also still hunting for a replacement for French international loose forward Yannick Nyanga, who is heading to Racing Métro, although a handful of world-class players have be linked to the Top 14 semi-finalists. 

The future of veteran loose forward Imanol Harinordoquy is also still up in the air. 

According to reports, the former France and Biarritz hardman has been given a oral offer of a contract extension but nothing has been put in writing yet.