Sale 'close' to new Cipriani deal

2015-01-24 15:30
Danny Cipriani (Getty Images)

London - Danny Cipriani is in line to sign a new deal with Sale, the English Premiership side said Saturday.

England flyhalf Cipriani has been linked with a potentially lucrative move to French and European champions Toulon.

But the decision of England coach Stuart Lancaster to revive the 27-year-old's stop-start Test career by including him in his initial Six Nations training squad earlier this week, and so boost Cipriani's chances of featuring at the World Cup later this year, has made a move to France's Top 14 less attractive.

Cipriani is currently in the third and final season of his Sale contract but Steve Diamond, the north-west side's director of rugby, is confident he will stay put.

"It is not signed on the dotted line yet, but it will be over the next three to four days," Diamond told Saturday's edition of Britain's Daily Telegraph.

"We are very close to agreeing terms as we speak. We are just crossing the T's and dotting the I's over Danny's career at Sale," he added.

Sale, presently eighth in the 12-strong Premiership table, have been seen as an 'unfashionable' club but Diamond was optimistic Cipriani would not leave for one of their domestic rivals.

"I have confirmed to him that we are ambitious and want to be more than a top-six side over the next few years and he believes in that, believes in what we are doing and the crowds are building as we want them to," he said.

"There's a lot of conjecture about what other clubs spend, but what we spend is linked to what comes through the gate. If we can continue to get 8 500 and 10 000 crowds then we can be ambitious as the rest and that's what Danny wanted to hear."

Cipriani joined Sale from the Melbourne Rebels and earned an England recall last for last year's tour of New Zealand, in which he made two appearances to take his caps haul to nine - a meagre return given he made his Test debut in 2008.

Speculation about a move to France intensified after he didn't play in any of England's November internationals.

Diamond said now was not the time for Cipriani to join Toulon, explaining he was better off being the fulcrum of Sale's attack rather than just another cog in the French side's star-studded wheel.

"To a certain extent it is good to be a big fish in a small pond rather than joining Toulon where you are a Harlem Globetrotter," Diamond explained.

Read more on:    danny cipriani  |  rugby

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