Newly “retired” fly-half Johan Goosen has been linked with a move to Gloucester less than a week after wiggling himself out of his Racing 92 contract.
The French club made a shock announcement last week when they revealed Goosen had chosen to end his career to pursue a career as a “commercial director” back in South Africa.
It has widely been speculated that Goosen made the unexpected move in a desperate attempt to get out of his contract with Racing. Goosen’s behaviour has been puzzling considering he signed a contract extension with Racing earlier this year, increasing his salary to €500 000 per year.
However, rumours about Goosen’s apparent unhappiness living in France have been doing the rounds for a while, prompting club president Jacky Lorenzetti to add a so-called “forfeit clause” in Goosen’s new deal should there be a breach of contract, which ammounts to €1 million.
Goosen, who was named Top 14 Player of the Season for 2015/2016 after helping the club win the French title and reaching the Champions Cup final, was reportedly advised that the only way to get out of his predicament with Racing was to retire and take up a lucrative business offer in South Africa, exploiting a loophole in the French contracting system.
In their original statement announcing his retirement, Racing implied there would be legal repercussions for Goosen should it emerge he retired under false pretences in an attempt to move to another club.
Montpellier were reportedly interested in Goosen’s services, but are apparently not prepared to pay out the ammount mentioned in the forfeit clause.
Midi Olympique reports Montpellier president Mohed Altrad is trying to buy to 54% stake in Gloucester, prompting speculation that Goosen could go there instead where he would be able to play regularly in his preferred number 10 position.
Goosen has offered no comment on the matter. When his wife Aletia was contacted by Netwerk24, she declined to comment.