France back-row Louis Picamoles switches Northampton for Montpellier

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Montpellier have resigned Northampton Saints and France back-row Louis Picamoles, with the Aviva Premiership club confirming his departure back to his first Top 14 club.

In a statement, Northampton said the 31-year-old had "received a proposal from Montpellier which will underpin the future financial stability for his family".

The Saints said they "reluctantly" agreed to the transfer for which they received "a significant transfer fee" which will be reinvested into the club. This will most likely be in strengthening their squad for the coming season, which will see them play in the Champions Cup after defeating Stade Francais in a playoff.

"I am proud to have played for Northampton Saints and I have enjoyed my time with the club," Picamoles said. "I am grateful for all the support and friendship I have received from the club, the coaches, my team mates and supporters.

Mohed Altrad, president of Montpellier, added: "Louis was the only French international player not playing in the Top 14. I am therefore delighted for Louis and the FFR that we have been able to secure his return to France.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Montpellier to strengthen its squad with a truly world class professional and fits perfectly with our long-term plans for the club. On behalf of the club, I look forward to welcoming Louis to Montpellier after his summer tour."