Scarlets are in talks with Northampton Saints over possible transfer of George North, says agent
GEORGE North's agent has confirmed that discussions are taking place over a possible transfer of George North from the Scarlets to Northampton Saints.
The Evening Post reported on Monday evening that the 31-cap Wales wing could be set for a move to Franklin's Gardens despite having a year left on his contract in Llanelli.
The Scarlets refused to comment on the speculation.
But now the player's agent Christian Abt has gone public with the admission that talks have started.
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"There has been an approach between the two clubs to discuss a possible transfer," he said.
It would be a hammer blow for Welsh rugby to lose North, at 20 the poster boy of the game this side of the Severn Bridge.
Should he head for the east Midlands, he would follow Mike Phillips (Bayonne), James Hook (Perpignan), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Aled Brew (Biarritz), Lee Byrne (Clermont) and Paul James (Bath) in exiting the regional game.
Abt told the BBC the financial cloud hanging over the four professional sides in Wales was a factor in the talks over North's future.
"Unfortunately it's been well documented it's been a difficult time for some of the Welsh regions financially," he said.
"They are looking at ways to find to work within a business model which makes financial sense for themselves to go forward and be sustainable in this current market.
"George is under contract for another year at the Scarlets and as far as I'm aware there's ongoing discussions between [Scarlets] and possibly a few other parties... with regards to a possibility of George moving on from the summer.
"There has been interest from [other] Premiership outfits as well as French clubs expressing an interest in when he might be out of contract.
"It's not something that we've really actively pursued, it's very much a case of understanding where he is in terms of the situation in Wales and trying to ensure that whatever happens in going forward is in his best interest in order to progress his career."
North apparently isn't seeking a move but it appears one could happen imminently.
"I don't think it will drag on too long," said Abt.
"I think these things need to happen quite quickly if it's going to happen so that each party knows where they stand.
"It's counter-productive to sort of drag on and for the player as well to know where he will be, so ideally I'm sure it will resolve itself in the next couple of weeks."