Panthers star and Blues rookie Stephen Crichton has given no guarantee he will sign with Penrith as he begins crunch talks with the club this week.
Meanwhile the Broncos are looking to offload Joe Ofahengaue to the Tigers or Dragons in a bid to create salary cap room to sign Will Chambers.
Read on for the latest Transfer Whispers.
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CRICHTON REFUSES TO COMMIT TO PANTHERS
The Panthers will begin crunch talks with Stephen Crichton’s new management this week after the Blues squad member refused to guarantee he would remain at the club beyond next season.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Crichton, who was expected to finalise a $1.5 million three-year-deal with Penrith, will now consider lucrative offers from NRL rivals.
The 20-year-old told the Panthers and coach Ivan Cleary he would honour the deal once he parted ways with his former agent.
But Crichton denied he had a handshake agreement with Cleary, and maintained this week he simply wanted what was best for his family.
Stephen Crichton is open to signing with an NRL rival to support his family.Source:Getty Images
“I’ll see what’s best for my family,” Crichton told The Sun-Herald.
“I have a new manager and when I get home [from Blues camp] I’ll start chatting with them and see what happens.”
“I spoke to Ivan, the handshake … I told him I’ll see what’s best for my family and things like that. I didn’t have a manager at the time. Now I’ve got one, so I’ve left it with them to look after.
“I was committed [to Penrith], but I’m seeing what’s best for my family as well.”
The club sees Crichton, who has scored 17 tries in 26 games since his debut in 2019 as a potential future fullback and are desperate to lock him up for the long-term.
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BRONCOS TRYING TO MAKE ROOM IN CAP FOR CHAMBERS
The Broncos are desperate to offload Joe Ofahengaue in a bid to sign former Storm premiership winning centre Will Chambers.
Brisbane’s salary cap is being squeezed by the fact Andrew McCullough has chosen to activate a clause to return to Red Hill.
“We are hearing that Brisbane are in the market for Will Chambers, which would be a massive signing, Mark Geyer said on Triple M.
“They need to make room in their salary cap if they want to sign Chambers because their salary cap is stacked,” Brent Read replied.
Broncos prop Joe Ofahengaue is being shopped to rivals.Source:Getty Images
“Andrew McCullough has gone back there now. I think he is on about $600,000 and they probably didn’t factor that in because they thought he would stay at Newcastle or go overseas.
“As it stands now he is going back to Brisbane so they have got to put that in the salary cap.
“They are pretty tied up there and Joe is an obvious one to make some room.”
Read believes the Broncos will move Origin star Ofahengaue, who has played 105 games for the club will be moved on in a bid to sign Chambers.
“I don’t think Joe Ofahengaue will be in Brisbane next year. I think he will either be at the Tigers or the Dragons,” Read said.
“At the moment the Dragons are pretty firm that it won’t happen, but it just depends on what Brisbane are willing to chip in for the club that Joe goes to.
“Joe is a live player on the player market. He has two years left on his deal. I’d be surprised if he is at Brisbane next year.”
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LATRELL DEAL TO FORCE RABBITOHS GUN OUT THE DOOR
Latrell Mitchell is closing in on a new deal with South Sydney, which will likely mean the club lets Joseph Suaalii leave the club to join arc rivals the Roosters.
Suaalii is contracted to South Sydney for another season, but was unwilling to accept a contract extension with Souths and was wooed by the Tri-colours to jump ship.
“I think it is a formality and will get done reasonably soon,” Read said of Mitchell’s contract extension on Triple M.
“I think the big ramification or ripple effect of that will be I think they will let Joseph Suaalii go, the young 17-year-old prodigy that has a one year deal with Souths for 2021.
Latrell Mitchell’s contract extension will see Joseph Suaalii leave for the Roosters.Source:News Corp Australia
“They are standing firm at the moment, but he wants to go to the Roosters. He has agreed to a deal with the Roosters.
“Souths are saying he can’t get out of that deal at the moment, but I think once they get Latrell done they will let Suaalii go and he will join the Roosters.
“I’m not sure where he will play. He will probably start on the wing, but long-term he would be a successor there to James Tedesco.”
TIGERS CONSIDERING TWO OPTIONS TO REPLACE ALOIAI
The Tigers are looking at luring either Manly back-rower Curtis Sironen or Joe Ofahengaue to the club in a bid to get disgruntled prop Josh Aloiai off their books.
The club refuses to let Aloiai’s management treat them like a door mat in a bid to sign a more lucrative deal at Manly, but privately they want to let him go if they can secure a suitable replacement.
“Curtis Sironen might be on the move as well because of the Josh Aloiai situation,” Brent Read said on Triple M.
“The Tigers have got some options on the table. Curtis Sironen is in the mix. He has been discussed.”
Former Tigers star Curtis Sironen could rejoin the club.Source:News Corp Australia
27-year-old Sironen played 65 games for the Tigers from 2012 to 2016, before joining Manly.
Another option for the Tigers is Broncos prop Joe Ofahengaue, who has been in negotiations with the club after Brisbane granted him permission to talk with rivals.
“Joe Ofahengaue is doing the rounds again the Brisbane front-rower, who was being discussed earlier in the year a couple of months ago,” Read said.
“I understand he spoke to the Tigers this week, so there is an interest there for the Tigers.
“There was some interest form the Dragons who still have an interest, but I don’t think it is as strong as it was.
“The Tigers spoke to him this week. They are looking at Josh Aloiai leaving and I understand he will leave. They want to get it resolved by November 30.
“Curtis Sironen is in play. Joe Ofahengaue is in play. They are exploring options everywhere the Tigers, so I’d expect some movement there in the next week or two.”
Originally published asCrichton no guarantee to sign with Panthers, Broncos look to offload star for Chambers: Transfer Whispers
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