Former Springbok fullback Johan Goosen is expected to make a dramatic comeback from ‘retirement’ after reportedly being bought out of his Racing 92 contract to join Montpellier in a multi-million rand deal.
Goosen has kept a low profile ever since he controversially backed out of €500,000 (R7-million) per season contract with French powerhouse club Racing at the end of 2016.
Although that contract was only set to end in 2020, Goosen made a shock announcement of his ‘retirement’, and was said to have accepted a job as a commercial director at a saddle-horse stud farm in Bloemfontein.
However, rumours soon emerged that it was, in fact, a ploy for Goosen to pursue other playing opportunities after growing unhappy at the Paris-based club.
In fact, certain reports came to light that Goosen was possibly set to come almost immediately out of retirement to play for the Cheetahs in the 2017 Super Rugby season before joining English club Gloucester.
However, those deals never materialised, with the powers-that-be at Racing 92 digging in their heels as they sought to hold Goosen accountable to what they believed was a binding contract.
Goosen appears to have remained untouchable until he either other opted to patch up his problems with Racing or find a suitor to pay the buy-out fee of over €1-million.
It’s now been widely reported in various French media outlets that Altrad and Racing have come to an agreement, with Goosen in line to join Montpellier’s squad from July after a €1.4-million (R20-million) buyout fee was exchanged.
Such a move could be a watershed moment for professional rugby if such a mega contract buyout process does prove to be on the money
Goosen has played 13 Tests for the Springboks, with his last seven appearances coming as recently as 2016.