FRESH FROM WATCHING his side claim a second consecutive Heineken Cup title, Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal says he will attempt to sign the four best players in the world.
Much has been made of the Top 14 side’s strategy of recruiting high-profile, proven international players, but it seems Boudjellal is hopeful of going another step further in the transfer market.
The 53-year-old wants to sign what he terms the ‘Fantastic Four’ in the next year, although he refused to reveal to Eurosport who he has included on his personal wishlist.
In a year, I will try to do the biggest thing I’ve ever done [in the transfer market]. I have an idea in my head, a crazy idea; I will try to make it happen. There are Quatre Fantastiques in the rugby world, I truly want to do that Grand Slam.”
Toulon’s recruitment for next season is all but completed, with Leigh Halfpenny, Mamuka Gorgodze, James O’Connor, Romain Taofifenua and Gerhard Vosloo joining the club. It appears that Boudjellal’s ambitious words allude to signings for the 2015/16 campaign.
The Toulon owner’s statement has sparked lots of reaction in France, with copious speculation as to who the ‘Fantastic Four’ are. Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Kieran Read, Sonny Bill Williams, Ma’a Nonu, Israel Dagg, Eben Etzebeth, Bismack du Plessis, Mike Brown, Jamie Heaslip, Owen Farrell and Israel Folau are just some of the names mentioned so far.
The transfer market is likely to be blown wide open after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, meaning many experienced international players may become available. Boudjellal and Toulon will be ready and waiting with their financial power.
Who would be your ‘Fantastic Four’? Who are the four best players in world rugby at the moment?