Saints "fairly close" to signings
March 3, 2012
Mallinder is targeting replacements for Downey, Wilson and Ashton © Getty Images
Northampton Saints are "fairly close" to signing a number of new players, according to director of rugby Jim Mallinder.
Winger Chris Ashton, No.8 Roger Wilson and centre James Downey are all leaving Franklin's Gardens at the end of the season with Mallinder eager to find top-quality replacements. With the trio off the wage bill and an increased salary cap of £4.26m plus the option of a marquee signing to sit outside the cap, Saints should have money to spend.
"There's a number of players we're looking for," Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle. "With James Downey going, we're looking for another option in midfield.
"With Roger Wilson going, we're looking for another option in the back row and probably out wide we're looking for someone else so we're talking to a number of players at the moment and we're coming fairly close to getting that sorted.
"We want really good players playing for Saints and it makes sense for us to talk to everybody who's a very good player."
Northampton have been linked with Wales winger Alex Cuthbert but the youngster has insisted he is staying with the Cardiff Blues.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14