Leo Cullen "hopeful" rather than "confident" Leinster can keep Jamie Heaslip

Heaslip has stated that he is open to a move abroad

Leo Cullen, Leinster,

Head coach Leo Cullen ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Leo Cullen believes that Jamie Heaslip's talk of a move abroad is more than just hot air, as he stated that he's not confident that they will definitely be able to hang on to the Irish vice-captain. 

Speaking to BT Sport recently, Heaslip stated that he wasn't openly pursuing a move, but that if a chance to play rugby abroad popped up, then he would be open to it. 

"A player has to assess his options and my agent is out there assessing the options for me and we will lay it all out on the table and make a decision at some stage," Heaslip said. 

"There might be [other options]. I've travelled a lot in my life. I'm an army brat and we lived abroad plenty, if that's the call I have to make, then that's the call I have to make. We're a long, long way from making any sort of decision."

Those comments will have caught the attention of a number of clubs, in particular given Heaslip's brilliant form during the November series, something which is playing on the mind of his head coach at Leinster. 

When asked about his thoughts on the possible move, Cullen stated: "I'm never confident. I'm always apprehensive. . . I'm hopeful."

Speaking on Newstalk's Facebook Live on Friday morning, Alan Quinlan noted that there was a chance that the desire for a move was real, in particular if there was a good offer on the table from abroad. 

"I don't think he's going to go anywhere - I know this might be a bit of a contradiction - so long as he gets a decent offer here," Quinlan said. "The danger when you're in your thirties is that the IRFU say 'Look, we're not paying a player who's 32 the same money he's been on for the last few years.'"

"But, if there's a but of frustration that sets in there, we'll see how the IRFU handle this and go with it, they have to run a business too at the end of the day [...] it's a bit of a bargaining tool, but I'd be surprised if he went."