England centre Manu Tuilagi could be on his way out of the Leicester Tigers with immediate effect, after missing the club's deadline to accept a pay cut.
The 10-time English champions have been seeking reduced terms with their players, as they deal with the financial impact of Covid-19.
And while key players such as George Ford, Ellis Genge and Tomas Lavanini signed reduced contracts prior to yesterday's deadline, Tuilagi is one of six Tigers who have missed the cutoff point for signing.
A number of UK outlets now report that the 29-year-old will be stood down from training and released from their contracts unless the club hierarchy has a change of heart.
Tuilagi is understood to be on a deal worth £500,000 per year, having turned down a lucrative offer from Racing 98 in 2019. Should he leave Leicester, it could also end his international career. It's unlikely any other English side would be able to afford his wages, while the RFU employs a similar policy to Ireland, with only players based in their country available for test selection.
One-time Irish international Noel Reid is also believed to be among those to have missed the deadline for re-signing with the club. The 30-year-old joined from Leinster last summer, with his future now unclear.
The other four contract rebels are reported to be Greg Bateman, Kyle Eastmond, Jordan Taufua and Telusa Veainu.
George Ford and Ellis Genge are understood to have taken 25 percent wage cuts, with the latter also extending his contract by a year, keeping him at the Tigers until 2023.
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