(Reuters) - England centre Manu Tuilagi has joined Sale Sharks until the end of next season after leaving Leicester Tigers, the Premiership club announced on Monday.
Tuilagi was sacked by Leicester last week following his decision not to sign a new contract on reduced terms in line with the league’s revised salary cap rules.
"We contacted Manu's agent and Leicester Tigers last week to discuss the player's current position," Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond said in a statement here
“After discussions on Friday, all parties – Leicester Tigers, Manu Tuilagi and Sale Sharks – agreed that the player was a free agent and was able to enter into negotiations with another club.
“Manu will be a fantastic commercial and playing addition to our squad and I am looking forward to seeing him join up with the lads at Carrington this week.”
Tuilagi, 29, has 43 England caps and his decision to sign for another Premiership club rather than playing abroad means he can still be called up by the national team.
Premiership clubs voted last month to reduce the salary cap from the 2021-22 campaign until 2023-2024, with the ceiling for senior players set at 5 million pounds ($6.29 million), down from 6.4 million pounds, due to the impact of COVID-19.
Players were offered long-term deals on reduced terms with clubs looking to take advantage of a provision that sees only 75% of the wages of a contracted player count towards the revised cap.
Tuilagi was one of five Leicester players, along with Greg Bateman, Kyle Eastmond, Noel Reid and Telusa Veainu, who failed to reach an agreement with the club over pay.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris