By Ali Stokes
After the unwelcome news for Wasps fans and coaches that star winger and Academy product Christian Wade has retired from rugby with immediate effect, the club are facing the risk of losing first-choice England number eight Nathan Hughes.
Chris Foy of the Daily Mail reports that the 17-times-capped backrower is currently taking a £500,000 offer from Bristol Bears into serious consideration.
The Mail further reports that unless Wasps can match the deal being offered by Bristol boss Pat Lam, Hughes will make his move to the West Country this summer, ahead of England's World Cup year preparations.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has spoken openly about the challenges of retaining the club's star players, with the costly task of maintaining a squad with enough depth to sustain the attritional nature of the Premiership facing its own demands.
Last season, the Mail also reported that England internationals Elliot Daly and Joe Launchbury were close to leaving the club over financial disputes, reportedly owed backlogged image rights, and not for the first time.
In light of the Coventry-based club's recent financial troubles, it seems unlikely the England number eight will be playing at the Ricoh Arena next season.
With rumours that 50-times-capped Springbok fullback Willie le Roux is also set to leave the club at the end of the season, Young could be left with a significantly weakened squad by the end of the current season.