Four or more Gallagher Premiership clubs are in the race to sign Saracens and England lock Nick Isiekwe, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
Leicester and Sale Sharks have been in negotiations for the highly-rated 21-year-old, but now, according to The Rugby Paper, Northampton Saints will complete a one-year loan move for him this week.
Gloucester had also been in the race, but having already signed Jack Singleton on loan, wanted to sign Isiekwe, who will likely sign a new contract with Saracens, on a full-time deal.
The lock made his Saracens debut aged 18 and a mere year later was earning his first international cap for England.
Prior to that, he plied his trade at Old Albanian before joining the Sarries Academy and represented his country from Under-16 to Under-20 level.
Trialling many positions in that time, Isiekwe was tried at prop, centre, back row and lock – his height dictating the latter would be the preferred outcome.
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The Hemel Hempstead-born forward’s breakthrough season for the Men in Black came in 2017/18 after making his international debut on England’s tour of Argentina. His consistent performances led to a starting role in the Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs which ended victorious.
Isiekwe has already featured over 50 times for his boyhood club, but will leave this summer following their relegation.
Full list of 2020–21 Gallagher Premiership transfers
This is a list of player transfers involving Premiership Rugby teams before or during the 2020-21 season.
Players out: Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Sam Nixon (Bayonne), Rhys Davies (Ospreys)
Players in: Semi Radradra (Bordeaux), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Mitch Eadie (Northampton Saints), Max Malines (Saracens – loan), Ben Earl (Saracens – loan)
Players out: Jordan Crane (retiring), Aly Muldowney (retiring), Mat Protheroe (Ospreys), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys)
Players out: Enrique Pieretto (Glasgow Warriors), Nic White (Brumbies)
Players in: Louis Rees-Zammit (promoted from Academy), Jack Singleton (Saracens), Jordy Reid (Ealing Trailfinders)
Players out: Callum Braley (Benetton)