Jim Mallinder has confirmed Saints will be bringing in a long-term replacement for Louis Picamoles.
But the new player will not move to Northampton until the start of the new year.
The player Saints have signed currently has club commitments elsewhere and will complete those before he switches to Franklin’s Gardens.
Picamoles left Northampton during the summer as Montpellier bought him out of the final two years of his Saints contract.
The players’ and supporters’ player of the year has left a void that needs filling and though Saints can call on the impressive Teimana Harrison and Mitch Eadie, who joined from Bristol during the close season, Mallinder knew his team needed extra bulk.
Sam Dickinson has been drafted in on a short-term deal, having originally been released at the end of last season.
And the experienced No.8 will cover until the new player arrives in January.
“Louis Picamoles had left the club so we needed a replacement,” Mallinder said.
“We have got a long-term replacement for Louis Picamoles, but he won’t be here until the new year.
“Sam was out of contract and he’s got some things going on after Christmas but he was available on a short-term deal and it was an obvious thing to do.
“He knows the club, he’s a great leader, he’ll be pushing for a first-team spot and he’s trained really well during pre-season.
“We’re delighted he’s joined us on that short-term deal.”