Tuesday 25 October 2016

‘We want Keith here next year’ – Munster hopeful Earls will remain at Munster

Published 26/01/2016 | 17:47

Munster’s Keith Earls
Munster’s Keith Earls

Munster are hopeful that Keith Earls’ contract negotiations will be concluded within the next 24 hours with Saracens poised to prise the Irish international away from the two-time European champions.

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As exclusively revealed by the Irish Independent, the 28-year-old has been offered a three-year contract with the Aviva Premiership side and may decide to leave his native province.

Munster had been optimistic about their chances of retaining the 28-year-old winger who has kept his counsel on his future, but it is understood that he is close to confirming the move to Allianz Park next season.

Family issues rather than financial motives are believed to be the primary motivation for the Moyross native.

Speaking to Cork radio station Red FM, Munster assistant coach Ian Costello insisted that management are still hopeful that the versatile back will remain at the province and expects his future to be sorted out one way or another in the next 24 hours.

“We heard the speculation this morning as well,” he told listeners of the programme.

“From our point of view, that’s what it is – it’s a rumour, it’s speculation. His negotiations are with the IRFU, he’s centrally contracted.

“Bottom line is, we want Keith here next year. He’s a quality player, a quality person. So we hope his negotiations with the IRFU are successful over the next 24 hours.”

Having joined up with the rest of the Ireland set-up at Carton House yesterday, Earls is firmly in the running for a place in Joe Schmidt's match-day 23 for the Six Nations opener against Wales next week.

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