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EXCLUSIVE: Maro Itoje in advanced talks to stay at Saracens and say no to French suitors

By Neil Fissler

MARO ITOJE is set to pledge his loyalty to Saracens by penning a new three-year contract with the Premiership champions.

The England lock is out of contract at the end of the season but The Rugby Paper understands that talks with the North London side are now at an advanced stage.

Itoje, one of a whole host of England internationals who are now in the final 12 months of their contracts, has been in talks with the club for the last couple of months.

And like Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell, who we revealed last week is pledging his future to the Sandy Park club, Itoje is close to following suit with Saracens.

Itoje, who celebrates his 24th birthday at the end of October, is likely to seal the deal within the next few weeks as soon as a few minor details have been ironed out.

It will put to bed wholly inaccurate suggestions that the former European Player of the Year who joined Saracens six years ago could be heading to France.

Montpellier had been linked with a move for him after the World Cup next year. But that rumour has been shot down by a source close to the British & Irish Lions ace.

The source said: “I cannot believe anyone was silly enough to believe these lies, Maro is really happy at Saracens, there was never any chance of him leaving.

“A move to France would spell the end of his England career as things stand so it was never an option for him.”

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