New week, new club linked with signing Bordeaux fly-half Ian Madigan.
After Northampton were ruled out of the running last week, Murray Kinsella of The42.ie is reporting that Madigan is on the brink of joining Bristol (or as they'll soon be known, Pat Lam's Bristol) in England.
Madigan will be released from his Bodeaux contract a year early in order to move to England's southwest where he'll team up with Connacht's Lam, alongside fellow new signings in All Black Steven Luatua and Samoan inside back Alapati Leiua.
It's reported that Madigan will earn the €500,000 salary he initially looked set to make at Northampton, putting him amongst the top 10 highest-earning players on the planet. The move, however, will come at a cost; a Donncha O'Callaghan-inspired Worcester put a beatdown on Bristol earlier today, leaving them seven points adrift at the foot of the Premiership table. As such, Madigan's move may well be to the Championship as opposed to the Premiership, at least for a year until a refurbished Bristol canter back to the top flight under Lam.
Naturally, a season spent in England's second tier would almost totally rule out an international return for Madigan in the near future.
Bristol have five games to save their top flight status, but seem destined to enter a re-formatted Championship next campaign, whereby the playoffs have been scrapped, and only the league winners will be promoted to the Premiership.
Intriguingly, Connacht under Lam recently closed the door on a move for Madigan.