Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall says contract talks with Maro Itoje are close to completion as he gets set to sign a new deal.
The lock has spent his entire career at Sarries, progressing through their youth ranks to eventually become one of the faces of the Gallagher Premiership and England team.
The 24-year-old’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the season and it was understood several French clubs had expressed an interest in bringing him across the English Channel.
However, given England’s policy on not selecting overseas players, Itoje looks set to snub a big-money deal in the Top 14 to re-commit to the Premiership champions.
“I think it is almost done,” McCall told the Evening Standard. “It is dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s as far as I know. I think talks are really, really positive.
“I suppose over the next month or two we hope to have some good news there. He is obviously an incredible player, everybody knows that, but it is his consistency around the training ground which is the most impressive thing.
“He comes in every day wanting to improve and get better. He is very consistent with his mood. In every training session he is the one setting an incredible example all of the time, either vocally or with his actions.
“He is the kind of person you want around your club.”Itoje isn’t the only lock holding contract negotiations, with McCall revealing Will Skelton is also close to agreeing terms on an extension.