Leicester Tigers: Martin Castrogiovanni's move to Toulon is 'on ice'
Prop Martin Castrogiovanni's rumoured departure to Toulon is still far from a done deal, according to Leicester Tigers chief executive Simon Cohen.
The club have began talks with the French Top 14 side, who Tigers will now meet in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals after topping Pool Two with Sunday's thrilling 9-5 win over Toulouse.
But Cohen said no agreement was in place with Toulon and that the club would not even discuss the prospect of Castro ripping up his contract at Welford Road – which still has a year to run – until a satisfactory transfer fee had been paid.
"We have always said that there needs to be two elements in place for any transfer to go ahead," said Cohen.
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"Firstly, we need a satisfactory transfer fee and, secondly, Martin Castrogiovanni needs to come to us and say that he wants to leave.
"We have had an initial and preliminary discussion with Toulon about a transfer fee and there is no agreement in place at this moment.
"We won't have a discussion with Martin Castrogiovanni about what he wants to do until an agreement is in place."
Leicester would also make sure they have pencilled in a suitable replacement for Castro before they allow him to leave.
And with world-class tight-head props in great demand around the world, that could prove to be another stumbling block towards any possible departure.
"If we fail to reach an agreement with Toulon, then Martin Castrogiovanni will see out his contract with us," added Cohen.
"That would be excellent news for us because he is an extremely talented player and an icon at this club."
Castro has played second fiddle to Dan Cole for the big matches this season.
But he is still held in high regard by the Tigers' faithful, who gave him the traditional warm welcome when he replaced Cole in the 64th minute against Toulouse.
Castro has made 138 appearances in his six-and-a-half years at the club.