Toulon: Habana too expensive
Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - Springbok winger Bryan Habana's request for a R21-million contract has been turned down by French big spenders, Toulon because he is "too expensive".
The club, who had no problem hauling out the cash to lure the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Victor Matfield, Jonny Wilkinson, Gavin Henson and lately Bakkies Botha has withdrawn from negotiations to bring Habana to France after the World Cup because his demands are excessive.
Two years ago Toulon were looking to sign Habana, and would gladly have parted with the cash. But because of the role his father played in negotiations, and the fall out over the court case with Bakkies Botha at the time, lost out as Western Province swooped in with a R3-million offer for his services.
Now, with his contract at Western Province coming to an end after the World Cup, sources in France have said Habana wanted the same money that Botha got when he signed to move after the World Cup, but has been turned down.
Earlier on Wednesday a Cape newspaper reported that Western Province were looking to stop the Bulls from "poaching" Johan Sadie, a claim the Bulls vehemently deny. According to the report Habana's salary is a stumbling block for the necessary cash to keep Sadie in the Cape.
Botha signed a three-year contract for 700 000 euros a year, making him one of the best paid South African rugby players in the world. After losing the court case to the Bulls, he returned and played his heart out for the defending Super Rugby champions, and will run out for his 100th game on Saturday against the Sharks.
According to SuperSport.com's sources, Habana, who is representing himself, was offered a contract of 600 000 euros a year, but turned this down and asked for a larger figure.
The French rugby website RugbyRama reported that Billionaire owner of Toulon Mourad Boudjellal, who is a big fan of Habana, informed the winger he was too expensive and declined to negotiate further.
Boudjellal will go ahead with a planned signing of French bad boy Mathieu Bastareaud from Stade Francais for a reported 300 000 euros a year, but has given up any hope of compromise to get Habana to France.
Habana has struggled to find form in this year's Vodacom Super Rugby series, but has been backed by coach Allister Coetzee despite this.