Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe will link up in Toulon with his old Sale coach
Sale skipper Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe has announced his intention to leave at the end of the season.
The Argentine is expected to link up at Toulon with Philippe Saint-Andre, who signed him for the Sharks.
"It was a really hard decision to leave," said Lobbe. "But I have the opportunity to sample a different culture in France."
Lobbe joined Sale in 2006, linking up with brother Ignacio, who has since left for Northampton Saints.
Sharks director of rugby Kingsley Jones said: "We have done everything we possibly can to keep Juan at the club but we can't compete with the market in France where there is no salary cap.
I would like nothing better than to say goodbye personally to all the Sale Sharks fans at Twickenham on May 16th
Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe
"Juan has decided to take up a new challenge, but he leaves with our good wishes and he desperately wants to win something with Sale Sharks before he leaves.
Lobbe added: "There is plenty of rugby to be played yet. We have five games remaining and three of those are at home.
"Believe me in that we will be going all out to finish in the top four and I would like nothing better than to say goodbye personally to all the Sale Sharks fans at Twickenham on 16 May."
Sale are currently sixth in the Guinness Premiership, eight points behind leaders Gloucester with a game in hand - and just a point adrift of the top four finish that would earn Lobbe's men a place in the end of season play-offs.