The Penrith Panthers could be on the verge of announcing some key contract news but may find it much more difficult to extend another star anytime soon.
Elsewhere, a Broncos development player is set to be extended after an impressive club debut, while a Knights star has shut down rumours suggesting he could be at a new club next season.
Read on for the latest NRL Transfer Whispers.
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PANTHERS PRIMED FOR DOUBLE BOOST… AND LUAI HEADACHE
The Panthers are reportedly on the verge of extending the contract of one of the team’s most underrated players while a teammate could be nearing a $3 million deal to remain at the foot of the mountains.
Securing a long-term deal for five-eighth Jarome Luai though could prove tricky according to The Daily Telegraph’s veteran rugby league reporter Brent Read.
Speaking on Triple M on Thursday night, Read revealed that versatile Panthers forward Scott Sorensen is expected to extend with Penrith for a further two seasons.
It would be a big boost for the reigning premiers, who have benefited from Sorensen’s hard running style and high workrate in defence since he joined the club in 2021.
“There’s a bit going on there at Penrith, who are about to sort an agreement with Scott Sorensen, who is probably one of the most underrated players running around in the NRL,” Read said.
“He’s off-contract at the end of the year and it looks like a new deal will be done with Scott Sorensen. He will stay there at least another two years.”
That is just the start of the contract talks at Penrith though, with off-contract fullback Dylan Edwards also looking at a big pay rise to better reflect his current standing in the game.
Edwards has consistently improved his craft to become of the league’s best fullbacks but is currently earning $500,000 a season. That, however, is about to change.
“They’ve started talks with Dylan Edwards,” Read said.
“They’re looking at around a three or four-year extension around the $3 million mark and they’ve got further talks on that front next week. They’re hoping to tie it away next week.”
Once that happens attention will then turn to extending Luai, although Read reported there will be interest from rival clubs to complicate matters.
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“If they upgrade Dylan, they have Nathan [Cleary] on big money and [Isaah] Yeo, Fisher-Harris is on a huge deal,” Read said.
“I think there’s going to be some interest in Jarome Luai so that’s going to be a real challenge. Once you get Dylan locked away, they’ll try to tie down Jarome. I think it’s going to be a little bit more difficult than Dylan is going to be.”
NEW BRONCO’S BIG REWARD
Tristan Sailor has made the most of his lifeline at the Broncos with coach Kevin Walters confirming the 24-year-old will be retained on a new deal.
Sailor — son of dual international Wendell — arrived to Red Hill, via Queensland Cup feeder side Souths Logan, ahead of this season on a train-and-trial opportunity after his deal with the Dragons was not renewed in 2020.
He impressed over the summer to earn a one-year development deal for 2023 and then made his club debut at fullback in Round 13, in which he set up a try and ran for 111 metres.
Walters has since told News Corp that the Broncos want to re-sign Sailor for next season.
“We have got really good depth, and we have to maintain that depth into next year,” he said.
“Certainly, Tristan will be a big part of that.
“That (contract negotiations) is in (head of recruitment) Simon Scanlan’s hands.
“Tristan plays multiple positions, he can handle the wing, the halves, even centre, so he’s a good utility player on top of his skills at fullback.”
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FRIZELL TO STAY
Veteran forward Tyson Frizell has all but confirmed he will re-sign with the Knights amid speculation he could be forced out.
There was a report a couple of weeks ago revealing the Wests Tigers were interested in Frizell’s services, however the 31-year-old toldZero Tackle he “will” remain at the Knights, where he is “very happy and comfortable.”
Frizell, who earnt an Origin recall for NSW in game one, is coming off contract at the end of the season but he has no interest in signing anywhere else — especially after purchasing a new home in Newcastle.
“Yeah, I will (remain at the Knights),” Frizell said.
“I’m very happy and comfortable where I am… and my future will hopefully sort itself out, and hopefully, I guess, sooner rather than later.”
“I think any player that goes through it when we’re off contract at the end of the year and potentially other clubs that are interested in you,” he added when asked about the rumours regarding his future.
“All you can control is what you do on the field, and it’ll all take care of itself.
“(There is) no pressure at all. I guess if people are talking about it, it’s probably a good thing, so it doesn’t bother me whatsoever.”
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