Saints coach King plays down Picamoles link

Alex King says Saints are flattered to be linked with France star Louis Picamoles.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 22nd October 2015, 6:34 pm
Saints coach Alex King dismissed links with Louis Picamoles (picture: Kelly Cooper)
Saints coach Alex King dismissed links with Louis Picamoles (picture: Kelly Cooper)

But he insists talk of the club signing the Toulouse No.8 is merely ‘gossip and speculation’.

Last month, reports in France suggested that the 29-year-old was being courted by Saints, Saracens, Clermont Auvergne and Montpellier.

But during the past week, there have been suggestions that Northampton and Bath are the front-runners to snap up Picamoles, whose current Toulouse deal runs until June, 2016.

It has been mooted that the player has agreed to sign a lucrative deal with an Aviva Premiership club.

However, Bath have since distanced themselves from the player, with first-team coach Darren Edwards saying: “We’ll always look at good players and if we get the opportunity we would sign them, but there’s nothing in that.”

That appeared to leave Saints as a likely destination, especially as they lost star man Samu Manoa, who was a key figure at No.8, to Toulon during the summer.

The club declined to comment on the rumours on Tuesday, but when questioned at the weekly press session, King said: “I’ve read the same stories and we’re flattered to be linked with those sort of players, but it’s just gossip and speculation.”

Picamoles also spoke out on Wednesday in a bid to quell speculation.

He said: “There are a lot of things that are said now.

“Me, this week, I’m on vacation. I try first of all to digest this disappointment and end of the difficult World Cup.

“I will talk with my club, Stade Toulousain, next week.

“As for my future, I will meet my current president (Jean-René Bouscaltel) and Fabien Pelous (sporting director) next week. So until then, I will not do anything. “

“Everything that can be said about it will only be as pure speculation for now, I have made no decision. I’ll make a decision quickly. But for now, I take my family and the holiday. Before taking any decision whatsoever, I will meet my leaders next week and make my decision.

“All that has been said before cannot be true, since for now there is no decision that has been taken.”