Sexton deal still a work in progress
August 26, 2014
Jonathan Sexton's final act at Leinster was to lift the PRO12 trophy © PA Photos
Leinster boss Matt O'Connor claims talk of a four-year contract for Johnny Sexton is premature but he hopes the fly-half will return to the province.
Sexton left Leinster to sign for Racing Metro ahead of the 2013-14 season on a two-year contract with the option of a third. Sexton said he would make a decision on his future over the coming weeks but reports on Monday claimed he had agreed to a four-year deal to re-sign for Leinster.
Leinster boss O'Connor, talking at Tuesday's launch of the 2014-15 Guinness PRO12 season, claims discussions are on-going and nothing is yet ready to be announced.
"It sounds alright [the four-year contract] and we'll see what happens but he's indicated he wants to play for Leinster again," O'Connor said. "It's just a matter of when, whether it's next season or a couple of seasons down the row."
O'Connor added: "Johnny's getting lots of press. As we've said all along, we have been in constant dialogue with Johnny since he went to Paris and he's close to a lot of people in our environment.
"We've got a pretty good handle on what Johnny's up to and we would like to think if he does want to move from Racing we'd be at the very top of the list. Hopefully in the next couple of months we'll have some clarity on that."
While O'Connor is yet to work with Sexton at Leinster, having arrived at the province the season the fly-half took up his contract in the Top 14, Jamie Heaslip knows Sexton better than most having played alongside him for Leinster for seven years years and he wants him back at the province.
"Johnny knows what the club is all about and personally, he's a great guy to have in your changing room," Heaslip said. "He's a great orchestrator of the game and I've loved playing with him both internationally and at club level. He knows what the club's all about; his buddies are there.
"He went for different reason and the reasons he had to. I was one of the first people to say 'go and enjoy that journey'. Whatever decision he makes, he will get the backing of all of his mates whether that's coming to Leinster or any of the other clubs in Europe. Any club that gets him will be lucky."
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Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.
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