Lions: Faf move not confirmed
REACTION: Francois de Klerk's move to Sale Sharks is not a done deal, according to Golden Lions Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer Rudolph Straeuli.
On Monday, English Premiership club Sale Sharks announced that De Klerk will be joining them on a three-year deal.
However, the Lions said "that they are in negotiations with the Sale Sharks regarding the contract offered Lions scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and will make a statement on the issue once the player has returned to South Africa".
The Lions face the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday and will arrive back in the country on Sunday, May 14.
"Negotiations are under way and I have not signed anything regarding the offer to De Klerk.
"The team is focused on their third game on tour and an official announcement will only be made once they are back," said Streauli.
De Klerk, who has 11 caps for the Springboks, has been described as a world class signing by Sale Sharks' Director of Rugby Steve Diamond.
"I am made up [happy] that Faf [De Klerk] has decided to join us next season," said Diamond, who recently announced the recruitment of Scotland international Josh Strauss and Jono Ross.
"He is tenacious with a fantastic work rate - he dictates the tempo and direction of the game and I think he will fit in well both with our style of play, and with a young, ambitious squad.
"He's an unbelievable ball carrier, has a solid kicking game and he is exciting around the pitch. He sees the weakness in his opposition and can leverage this to his advantage. He's young but has massive experience and this will be crucial in helping us to build on the foundations we have put in place this year."
It is not the first time the Lions have refuted claims that one of their players have joined an overseas club.
Last year, the Johannesburg side clash with French club Lyon over Franco Mostert's future.
Lyon announced that they signed the 26-year-old only for the Lions to deny it. The French club threatened the Lions with legal action over the debacle.