Warburton hints at new Blues deal
August 7, 2013
Sam Warburton has one season left on his current deal with PRO12 side the Cardiff Blues © PA Photos
British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton insists he is in no rush to decide his future beyond this season but has hinted that he may opt for a new deal with the Cardiff Blues.
Warburton, who led the Lions to an historic series victory over Australia last month, has one season left on his current contract with the region with fears growing he may follow fellow Wales international and Blues team-mate Jamie Roberts in swapping Welsh rugby for a big money move to France.
The 24-year-old, who is on course for an October return from a hamstring injury, has revealed that talks over a new deal are likely to begin soon with the Blues hoping to secure not only Warburton's services but those of Lions hero and Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny.
"I've still got 12 months, still a relatively long time, so I've got a whole season to make that decision," the 24-year-old told BBC Sport. "Because we've been away on the Lions tour, the full focus was with the Lions. Since I've come back I've pretty much laid low and spent some time with family.
"We're going back into the Blues next week and then you can focus on the new season and your future. I guess that's when negotiations may start, sometime in the new season."
Wales and Lions flanker Toby Faletau handed Welsh rugby a boost earlier this week by signing a new contract with the Dragons and Warburton has suggested he may follow his lead. "There's a lot of players in the same situation in the current Welsh squad and hopefully we can get the situation resolved and keep as many as we can in Wales," he added.
Blues chief executive Richard Holland has begun contract talks with Warburton but has warned they have limited funds available. "Of course we want to keep Sam," Holland told the Western Mail.
"He is one of those out of contract at the end of the season and I have already met his agent.If he wants to stay, I'm sure we can come to an agreement to satisfy everybody. Market forces dictate we have only got so much money in the bank."
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