French star David Mele in talks on signing for Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers are believed to be deep in talks to bring Perpignan scrum-half David Mele to the club next season.
I understand the 27-year-old is very keen to come and play for Leicester and that both parties are working towards completing a deal.
Mele is a goal-kicking scrum-half who can also play fly-half and has all the typically pugnacious traits you associate with a No.9.
His style is reminiscent of Julien Dupuy, the Frenchman who was a huge hit at the club during the 2008-09 season, where he was trusted to take on goal-kicking duties during some big games.
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Mele is an out-and-out play-maker and is flexible between the fly-half and scrum-half duties. He also has a high percentage goal-kicking ratio in the Top 14.
His potential arrival in the summer could be an early indication to the way Leicester are planning to structure their half-backs.
With Sam Harrision and Ben Youngs under contract next season, it seems that Micky Young could be on his way out of the club.
The former Newcastle man is coming to the end of a two-year deal that has been littered with frustration for him with injuries and suspensions hampering his progress at the club. It seems almost inconceivable that Tigers would be talking to Mele if they intended to keep Harrison, Young and Youngs on their books.
It could also be a step to guarantee an option in case George Ford leaves the club in the summer.
The 19-year-old's one-year deal comes to an end in June and, although he is understood to have begun negotiating with Leicester over a new deal, Tigers are clearly not hanging around to cover their tracks if he leaves to play elsewhere next year.
Should he go, Mele's goal-kicking abilities would be crucial to a squad that would have Toby Flood, Dan Bowden and Matt Cornwell as its fly-half options.
The Frenchman has been with Perpignan for the last seven years.