Leicester Tigers are prepared to make Manu Tuilagi among the “highest-paid players in the world” to keep the England centre at Welford Road.
Tuilagi is out of contract at the end of the season and is known to have received lucrative offers from several Top 14 clubs with Bristol and Wasps also reported to be interested in securing the services of the 24-year-old. However, Leicester are prepared to head off those suitors by breaking the bank to keep their prized asset.
Richard Cockerill, the director of rugby, has already confirmed that formerSouth Africa captain Jean De Villiers will not fill one of the club’s marquee player spots, enabling Leicester to push the boat out to keep Tuilagi.
“We have put our best foot forward contractually,” Cockerill said. “I understand in this world that we live in that people have choices to make.
“There are probably 10 years left in him and we would like him to be here for the next 10 years. We have made that known to him. He wants to stay and we have made an offer that would make him up there with the highest-paid players in the world. We are just waiting for that answer.
“There is no pressure on him, we just want it to be right. There are always other distractions and it is flattering when you get courted by other people. We would like to think that it will get done sooner rather than later.”
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