The Storm have upped their offer for superstar five-eighth Cameron Munster as several rival clubs circle.
Meanwhile, the Dragons are set to announce a huge re-signing and a big-name Rooster could be on his way out of Bondi.
The Parramatta Eels are reportedly set to enter talks with Ryan Matterson’s management in an attempt to retain the star back-rower who has five clubs chasing his signature.
Wayne Bennett is reportedly set to kick off a second raid on the Cowboys line-up
Read on for the latest NRL Transfer Whispers.
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SOUTH’S $50K MOVE TO LOCK UP LATRELL
South Sydney are playing the long game with Latrell Mitchell, reportedly forking out $50,000 on his US trip in a bid to display their commitment to the fullback.
Mitchell is currently stateside as he seeks expert medical advice on an injured hamstring which will see him sidelined for two months. It is his second major hamstring injury in the past two years.
“Yeah (he is going) for treatment on the hamstring and knee,” Souths coach Jason Demetriou confirmed earlier this month.
“It’s just intensive rehab – he will spend 10 days with one of the best rehab specialists in the world.
Nine’s Danny Weidler revealed on Big Sports Breakfast that Bunnies have pulled out all stops to get Mitchell right as they move to lock him up on a new contract.
“It’s an expensive exercise, they are going to take a physio over with them as well, and the treatment’s not cheap,” Weidler said
“They are looking at around $50,000 for Latrell’s hamstring. The idea behind spending that much money is they want him right long term and they are about to start talks to tie him up for a two or three year extension.
Weidler said the investment revealed how serious an injury concern there is around Mitchell.
“I thought it was bad the first time he did it. This time I didn’t realize it was as severe as it was,” he said.
“You don’t send your best player to America to see a specialist and do work unless it is a big concern.”
DOLPHINS’ SECOND COWBOYS DIP
Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins are reportedly set to sign a Cowboys young gun, while an emerging star is on the radar.
The NRL’s 17th franchise are said to have secured the signing of 23-year-old Connelly Lemuelu according to The Daily Telegraph, having already signed Tom Gilbert from Todd Payten’s squad.
The signing is reportedly set to be announced in the coming days and the center who made a pre-season positional switch to the background has struggled to find game time in 2022, sitting behind Heilum Luki, Jeremiah Nanai and Gilbert in the North Queensland side.
Lemuelu’s has reportedly signed a two-year deal worth $200,000 per-season and the 190cm, 106kg beast will likely take up a role in the centers with the Dolphins also signing experienced edge forward Kenny Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi from the Storm.
Bennett also is set to chase the signature of resurgent fullback Scott Drinkwater, who has showed his quality following an injury to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, slotting into the No.1 jersey.
The 24-year-old is unlikely to join given he is still on contract in Townsville, but may push for a move should his minutes decrease with Tabuai-Fidow’s return.
Drinkwater would also be unlikely to force the halves partnership of Chad Townsend and Tom Dearden to change, having performing strongly to start the 2022 season.
EELS TO NEGOTIATE MATTERSON EXTENSION
The Parramatta Eels will reportedly begin talks with Ryan Matterson’s management in an attempt to keep hold of the back-rower.
According to AAPMatterson is on the radar of five different NRL clubs, including the NRL’s newest addition the Dolphins.
For now the 27-year-old wants to focus on his football and has left the task of negotiations with his management, wanting no involvement until the concluding stages.
“We’re going to have a chat with his manager in the coming week or so,” Eel’s football manager Mark O’Neill told AAP.
“We wanted to give him a bit of time to focus on his footy. He is playing good footy, has a clear mind and is going really well.”
Parramatta will hope that Matterson joins Clint Gutherson and Junior Paulo who have re-signed with the Eels.
Matterson’s positional shift into the middle is a role in which the Parramatta junior has grabbed with both hands and helped him find some of his best form.
“I’m more involved,” he said.
“I get my hands on the ball a lot more and I get to choose whether to run or pass.
“Back row at the moment people are running lines and you’re a bit more of a crash player. But I enjoy being a ball player.”
The former premiership winner signed with Parramatta as an edge, however growing up as a five-eighth he was eager to have more time with the ball in hand.
“Brad said ‘I am glad you said that, because I was thinking the same thing’,” Matterson said.
“I had a bit of a taste of it at the Roosters and Tigers, and it was something I really thrived on.”
STORM UP THE ANTE FOR MUNSTER
The Storm have reportedly increased their offer for Cameron Munster in a “desperate” bid to get the superstar five-eighth to re-sign with the club.
Munster comes off contract at the end of 2023 and has attracted the interest of several NRL clubs including the Dolphins.
The Storm tabled a two-year extension worth $750,000 per season. It’s a significant cut from the $1.2 million the 27-year-old stands to earn next season — the final year of his current deal.
However, news corp reports the Storm have since increased money on offer and added an extra season to the deal.
“They’re desperate to keep Cameron, he’s playing strong,” Phil Rothfield told Munster’s manager Braith Anasta on NRL 360.
“The Storm originally offered him a two-year extension, they’ve bumped it up to three years and they’re going to come back to you or Cameron with a bit of extra cash too.”
Anasta confirmed the report.
“They’re going to offer an extra year, they’re going to put an offer down to Cameron in the next couple of weeks,” he said.
“So yeah, originally it was two years, they’re going to add an extra year.”
Munster and Anasta held out on accepting the initial offer from Melbourne and it’s paid off.
The Maroons and Kangaroos star is in career-best form and has the likes of the Bulldogs and Dragons, as well as the Dolphins watching his situation closely.
BIRD TO STAY WITH DRAGONS
Dragons utility Jack Bird has reportedly re-signed on a two-year deal with a mutual option for a third.
The club increased their offer after the 27-year-old knocked back their initial two-year offer, according to news corp.
It’s understood the deal is worth around $550,000 a season.
Bird moved back to the second row last week after spending a month at five-eighth in coach Anthony Griffin’s shake-up of the Dragons’ spine.
The former Shark and Bronco, who played Origin in 2016 and 2017, has reinvigorated his career, proving to be one of the Dragons’ most important players this season.
The Tigers, Eels and Dolphins all reportedly showed interest in Bird however the Tigers were reluctant to offer the three years he was seeking, while the Eels backed out of the chase in April after coach Brad Arthur met with him in February.
news corp reports Bird wasn’t keen to return to Queensland to sign with the Dolphins despite his relationship with coach Wayne Bennett, whom he spent 2018 under at the Broncos.
Negotiations between Bird and Dragons have been dragged out for several months but a deal was finally struck after the club put a deadline on his decision.
The Dragons are expected to announce the deal later this week.
ROOSTERS STAR’S UNCERTAIN FUTURE
Roosters’ forward Angus Crichton’s future is up in the air, once again prompting speculation he could eye a potential code swap to rugby union in time for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
news corp reports Crichton will likely have to cop a pay cut to clear cap space for Brandon Smith’s arrival in 2023.
However, Crichton’s manager David Rawlings didn’t give anything away when asked about his client’s future.
“We don’t do business and play it out in the media,” Rawlings told news corp
“There’s still a couple of bits and pieces to be finalized around the contract before we get to the final position. We’ll see how it plays along.”
The two-time premiership winning forward starred in the 15-man code at schoolboy level where he played alongside Sharks’ forward Toby Rudolf at The Scots College before signing with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2013.
While Crichton has achieved a lot in his NRL career, the star has admitted in the past that he’d be open to return to rugby union.
“There’s always the possibility of going back. To play in a Rugby World Cup would be something special,” Crichton told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2018.
“Australian rugby is starting to build and they are getting back on the front foot.
“Rugby is a game I grew up playing and enjoying watching, and I could possibly go back one day, be it here in Australia or overseas.”
The possibility of having the chance to play in the 2023 Rugby World Cup is also an attractive one to Crichton.
“Yeah of course (it’s something I’m considering),” Crichton told the Hello sports podcast.
“You never want to sign a 10-year deal cause you never know what the game is going to do, you never know what you’re going to do as a player. What you can achieve elsewhere.”
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