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Club tug of war over one of rugby highest paid players

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Getty Images)

The return of Johan Goosen to South Africa seems to be locked in, but whether the Cheetahs or the Bulls win the heart of the former Springbok is not yet not clear.


Netwerk 24 spoke to the playmaker, who had at been at the centre of a bizarre Top 14 transfer saga in 2018, and the Montpellier man is yet to decide where he’ll play his rugby next season.

According to the article, Goosen could yet choose the Cheetahs, where he has stated a desire to play with fellow Springboks Francois Steyn and Ruan Pienaar. The Cheetahs are also situated closer to his farmstead in Aliwal North.

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Goodbye 2020:

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Goodbye 2020:

Standing in the way is Jake White’s high-flying Blue Bulls, who are keen to win Goosen’s affections.  The fact that they will be competing in the PRO16 in 2021 while the Cheetahs have been booted out of the competition, could see the utility back head to Pretoria instead.

Montpellier famously bought Goosen out of his Racing 92 contract for a whopping €1.4 million euro after Goosen ‘retired’ to manage a stud farm in South Africa, only to come out of retirement and return to the Top 14 with MHR. Racing 92 demanded reparations for what they saw as an insincere retirement and the clubs settled with billionaire owner Mohed Altrad ultimately buying Goosen out of his contract.

It’s no secret that Montpellier need to lower their wage bill, a point of some contention in France.

In 2020 the club were fined €3 million, but faced no further sanctions, after coming to an agreement with the LNR over alleged irregularities in how they paid players. In 2019 the club had a €470,000 salary cap fine – €70,000 for the failure to communicate “certain elements” and €400,000 for exceeding the ceiling – for the 2017/18 season annulled. They were already in the dock for exceeding the ceiling by an estimated €350,000 to €400,000 during the 2016-2017 season.


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