George North: Agent confirms talks between Scarlets and Saints
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
Scarlets and Northampton are holding talks over the possible transfer of George North from the Welsh side.
The Wales international winger, who has won 31 caps, has one year left on his contract with the Scarlets.
North's agent Christian Abt says the 20-year-old does not want to leave the Scarlets, but confirmed: "There has been an approach between the two clubs to discuss a possible transfer."
The Scarlets said they would not discuss players' contracts publicly.
However, his current contract with the Welsh side runs out at the end of the 2013/14 season, and though insisting North was not actively seeking a transfer, Abt warned one could take place soon.
"I don't think it will drag on too long," he said.
"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."
North was a key member of the Wales team the clinched a second consecutive Six Nations title with a 30-3 win over England in Cardiff and is also expected to tour Australia with the British and Irish Lions this summer.
If North was to join the Saints, he would be the latest in a long line of high-profile players to leave the Welsh domestic game for England or France.
Fellow Wales stars Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate have already confirmed they will be playing outside Wales next season.
And in recent seasons Mike Phillips (Bayonne), James Hook (Perpignan), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Aled Brew (Biarritz), Lee Byrne (Clermont) and Paul James (Bath) have all left the Welsh regional game.
Abt claims the financial difficulties facing the Welsh regions is 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 finding ways 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 as to 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 going forward is in his best interests in order to progress his career."
They all have the same agent who receives a windfall when the player moves.
We're heading straight into football territory where it is rare to play for your home club and the agents pull all the strings.
A superb young talent who "does not want to leave the scarlets" then why leave unless the agent persuades you?
If they are sensible and put clauses in their contract to play for Wales when called upon, let them go.
We dont have enough teams in Wales (only 4 professional) to keep everyone. If North goes, just gives another welshman the chance to step up and play pro rugby in Wales.
It free's up a regular spot for another young welsh talent and the number of professional welsh players grow.
If I were english I'd be disappointed that Northampton can't source an english replacement for Ashton.
He's a fluent Welsh speaker by the way with a Welsh mother. :)
Scarlets will obviously give him a new contract and he'll stay there.
What else is there to discuss?
Your idea there is absolutely ridiculous.
With only 2 professional teams in Wales where would you expect young players to be blooded? There would be a mass exodus of players out of the country.
4 is quite frankly not enough, 2 is absurd. Just such a shame the money isn't there.
as a Saints Fan, I would love to see it but why would he move if he's happy at Scarlets?
All this talk about Welsh taking over English and French teams is completely rubbish. Well done Wales, was a great win at the weekend but some of the fans need to grow up. It's a game! got an followed football