Saints coach King plays down Picamoles link

Saints coach Alex King dismissed links with Louis Picamoles (picture: Kelly Cooper)
Saints coach Alex King dismissed links with Louis Picamoles (picture: Kelly Cooper)

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

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.”