x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Racing Metro target world talent

The England star Jonny Wilkinson is one of a number of high-profile targets of Racing Metro, the French club have confirmed.

England star Jonny Wilkinson is one of a number of high-profile targets of Racing Metro, the French club have confirmed. The Parisian side, who are currently top of France's second division, are closing in on the double signing of France forwards Sebastien Chabal and Lionel Nallet. But they are not stopping there, and have set their sights on bringing Wilkinson and the South African centre Francois Steyn to the French capital. "We will see about the arrival of Nallet and Chabal," said the Racing coach Pierre Berbizier. "These are players who are interesting us, as are a good few others ? Steyn and why not Wilkinson? "I have to admit that all these links are good." A number of reports in the French media claim Nallet and Chabal, who have been second-row partners for Les Bleus in this year's Six Nations Championship, have agreed to join Racing, provided the club are promoted into the Top 14 at the end of the season. Racing are currently top of Pro D2; 10 points clear of Albi after 19 games. Wilkinson, England's World Cup-winning fly-half of 2003 who is currently out injured, and Steyn have been linked with moves to Racing for the past couple of months. The club owner Jacky Lorenzetti, who owns France's biggest estate agency group Foncia, appears determined to match the financial muscle of their city neighbours Stade Francais and Wilkinson would be an ideal marquee signing ahead of their expected return to the Top 14. Steyn is believed to have already been offered a jaw-dropping offer by Racing although the player's agent has insisted the Springbok will not be leaving the Sharks, at least in the next 11 months. "Yes, Frans has been approached by Racing Metro and I have been in correspondence with them over the past few months," Gerrie Swart recently told the Daily News. "However, Frans is contracted with the Sharks until the end of the Currie Cup and with the Springboks until the end of the year, so nothing can happen until then." Lorenzetti, who watched Steyn in action for the Sharks at the weekend in the first round of this season's Super 14, will return to Paris this week and hold a club meeting on Wednesday. The topic of summer recruitment will be high up on the agenda. "There is a lot being said about Racing, but at the moment the president is in South Africa and we will see where he is up to when he returns," Berbizier said in L'Equipe. *PA Sport