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Cockers admits David Mele is on Tigers' radar

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Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has admitted the club's interest in Perpignan scrum-half David Mele.

The Leicester Mercury reported on Monday that the 27-year-old was a target for the club.

The Frenchman can also play at fly-half, and his goal-kicking abilities means that Leicester would be covered in that area if George Ford leaves in the summer.

"We are talking to lots of guys and David Mele is one of them," admitted Cockerill.

"We lose Ben Youngs for lots of the season in the scrum-half position when he is away with England and Mele is a good player.

"He plays scrum-half and fly-half and kicks his goals too. We are looking at our options."

While a new deal with flanker Julian Salvi is all but done and dusted, Leicester are still busy negotiating with many of their out-of-contract stars like Ford and Geoff Parling.

Cockerill said the club and the 29-year-old England lock were now "not too far apart" in their negotiations.

"There is a deal to be done. Geoff wants to stay, he has worked very hard and we have helped him to develop," said Cockerill.

"We want to keep him and, as far as I am concerned, that deal will get done at some point after some shadow- boxing in between.

"We are not too far apart now. I have no doubt there will be a compromise and some good will to make it work."

Cockerill said there was "no panic" to get any deals done before New Year's Day when out-of-contract players are officially allowed to talk to other clubs.

"If players want to leave, they will leave," he said.

"If they want to wait until January 1 to see what the market is like, they can do.

"From our point of view, it's not about rushing in there and over-paying players.

"We treat everyone fairly. I want guys to walk away from our meetings saying that is not the best offer in the world but not the worst either."

Leicester Tigers will play their final two Heineken Cup Pool Two games on Sundays in January.

The dates for rounds five and six have been announced and will see Tigers travel to Swansea on January 13 to face the Ospreys with a 3pm kick-off.

The following weekend, they will host French side Toulouse at Welford Road with a place in the quarter- finals of the competition on the line. Again, that game will also kick off at 3pm.

Tigers lead Pool 2 on 14 points, one ahead of Toulouse and five better off than Ospreys.

Cockers admits David Mele is on Tigers' radar


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