Cohen scored 31 tries in 57 appearances for England
England international Ben Cohen has signed for Premiership side Sale on a two-year deal from Brive.
The French club said the move, which will be completed this summer, was motivated by family reasons.
"I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to Premiership rugby again," said Cohen, who has won 57 England caps.
The 30-year-old, a World Cup winner in 2003, joined Brive from Northampton in July 2007 after buying out the remainder of his contract.
He left Northampton in September 2007 after losing out to Bruce Reihana for the club captaincy and had been poised to join Leicester.
I am confident that Sale has the players, coaches, management and support that will help me stake a claim to an international return next seaso
However, that move broke down because his testimonial earnings from Northampton would have broken their salary cap.
His return to England bucks a recent trend which has seen Premiership players, such as James Haskell, Riki Flutey and Tom Palmer, sign deals with French teams for next season.
"I am proud to be joining a squad with a great pedigree and with ambitions to win titles and trophies," said Cohen.
"I am confident that Sale has the players, coaches, management and support that will help me stake a claim to an international return next season."
Sale chief executive James Jennings added: "Ben signing for us is great news, not only for us but for English rugby too.
"Here is a player who is turning his back on playing in France to return to England and hopefully play for his country again."
Cohen joins a club which will have former England team-mate Jason Robinson as its head coach next season.
Director of rugby Kingsley Jones described the signing as a "coup" and hopes Cohen's arrival at Edgeley Park can revitalise his international ambitions.
"I have been chasing his signature for weeks and am delighted to announce that he has now put pen to paper," he said. "He is still young enough to play for England again."
Cohen has touched down 31 times in internationals and only Rory Underwood has more tries for England.