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.
Read on for the latest NRL Transfer Whispers.
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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.
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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.
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 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’ 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.
“There’s still a couple of bits and pieces to be finalised 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 to go 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 enjoy 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 Sport 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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