Springboks flank Pieter-Steph du Toit has not been offered any contractual deal from Top 14 club Montpellier. On Sunday various South African newspapers reported that the World Rugby Player of the year Du Toit has been offered a very lucrative deal by Montpellier.

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The Afrikaans newspaper Rapport and SA Rugby magazine revealed that the Top14 club offered Du Toit ZAR2 million a month in a three-year deal that would have seen him pocket €3.6million (ZAR75 million). The deal would have made him the highest-paid player in the world.

However, Montpellier finally revealed their stance in the matter via the club’s official website. The cash-rich Top14 side denied that ‘any contractual offer has been made to Pieter-Steph du Toit.’ The statement added that the speculations ‘only aim to harm the interests of the club, which is currently engaged in the safeguard of its structure.”

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The statement reads: “Montpellier Hérault Rugby firmly denies the alleged “information” published today by the sarugbymag.co.za website, stating that a contractual offer was made to Pieter-Steph du Toit. The club is in no way engaged in any negotiations with this player. This act of disinformation only aims to harm the interests of the club, which is currently engaged in the safeguard of its structure. The only concern of the club is to allow a return to a practice of rugby in the best possible sanitary conditions in accordance with the positions and directives of the public authorities.”

However, with the very unpopular 21-day clause (with a May 14 deadline) in which players can tear up their contracts and head overseas, it could only be a matter of time before the Du Toit opts for greener pastures.

Aside from French giants Montpellier, ambitious Premiership outfit Harlequins and two clubs in Japan are queuing up for Du Toit’s signature.

There are a few other high-profile names have been mentioned in the European grapevines. Makazole Mapimpi, 29, is another said to be seriously considering tearing up his heavily-reduced SA Rugby contract and exchange it for a more lucrative European version.

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Dillyn Leyds (La Rochelle) and Wilco Louw (Harlequins) are already heading abroad, but the mess created by the 21-day clause can increase the queue at the Newlands exit door substantially.

Jaco Coetzee and Cobus Wiese are two other names said to be targets of European clubs – despite the fact that they have their own financial strains.

Rugby 365

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