The Knights are trying to keep Anthony Milford by enticing him with a multi-year extension despite having a handshake with the Dolphins.
Milford was given a lifeline with the Knights after being let go by the Broncos and Rabbitohs while fighting a court battle he has since been found not guilty.
Brent Read revealed on Triple M that Milford, who was keen on returning to the Dolphins under Wayne Bennett in the future, could be convinced to stick with the promise of long-term safety at the Knights.
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“Milford has a handshake deal with the Dolphins to return to Queensland next year,” Read said of Triple M.
“He has a handshake deal with Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins.
“Newcastle desperately wants him to stay. They’re talking about a multi-year deal.
“At the Dolphins, I understand it was only a one-year term.
“The Knights are hoping to convince him to stay by offering him a few more years.
“He’s one of those that’s a bit on the line and it could come down to the Wests Tigers and what they decide to do with Luke Brooks.
“If they decide, they’re happy Luke Brooks is leaving and Newcastle were obviously a club that were interested in Brooks in the off-season.
“If the Knights were to make another offer for Luke Brooks, then they could drop Milford.
“But at the moment they are trying to convince Milford to stay.”
The 27-year-old has scored 70 tries in 197 NRL games for the Raiders, Broncos and Knights since making his debut in 2013 and has played in two Origins for the Maroons and seven Tests for Samoa.
BRONCOS VETERAN TO TAKE MONSTER PAY CUT TO STAY AT RED HILL
Broncos flyer Corey Oates is set to take a huge pay cut and stay at Red Hill in another blow to Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins.
Oates was away at Brisbane in the summer but a superb return to form saw him picked up in the Maroons squad this week.
The Dolphins were touring but Brisbane are set to offer a two-year extension to keep Oates at the club until the end of 2024, according to The Courier Mail.
The 27-year-old played eight games for Queensland games would take a pay cut of around $200,000 per season.
Oates is on an estimate of $550,000, but the Broncos’ priority remains retaining the Herbie Farnworth Queensland Origin Selwyn Cobbo bolter.
“I’m really proud of Corey,” Broncos head of football Ben Ikin told News Corp.
“He will admit he had seasons where he wasn’t playing his best football, but he decided to turn it around and he made a plan in his mind of how he was going to do it and he went to work. “
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HULL BLOW EELS OUT OF WATER
Parramatta Eels are set to bid farewell to another star at the end of the season with Tom Opacic heading to the Super League.
According to Courier Mail, the center has signed a three-year contract worth $500,000 per season to connect with Hull KR in 2023.
It’s a blow for the Eels and Brad Arthur, who were keen to keep the reliable 27-year-old. They filed for a one-year extension worth $150,000, but Hull blew them out of the water.
The Eels are already preparing for a player exodus at the end of the season with Isaiah Papali’i, Marata Niukore, Oregon Kaufusi and Reed Mahoney having already signed with rival clubs.
Ryan Matterson stemmed the wave of departures by turning down a lucrative offer from the Dolphins to re-sign with the blue and gold.
News of Opacic’s departure prompted The Daily Telegraph’s Michael Carryannis to wonder if the Eels premiership window was about to close.
“It just begs the question I guess with Marata Niukore, Isaiah Papali’I, Oregon Kaufusi, Reed Mahoney of course, is that all for Parramatta’s shot at the title,” he said on SEN.
“We saw how good they can be on their day it all showed against the Roosters, but we saw how bad they can be against the Bulldogs.
“I just wonder if that’s it for Parramatta for the next two years.”
PANTHERS STAR TARGET BY RIVALS
The Panthers are likely to lose flyer Charlie Staines at the end of the season.
The ‘Forbes Ferrari’, as he was dubbed, found himself on the outside for premiers and in the pecking order for his preferred full-back position.
“One of the guys who can’t be lucky for them (Penrith) is still Charlie Staines,” said Sydney Morning Herald’s Adrian Proszenko on SEN 1170 Afternoons.
“I think it’s fair to say he won’t be at the club next year.
“He had been groomed as a potential long-term full-back at the club, but Dylan Edwards cemented that given the way he plays.
“There’s probably a feeling that Stephen Crichton would be next in line.”
Proszenko said there were a few rival clubs interested.
“A few clubs that are sniffling are the Wests Tigers and the Bulldogs,” Proszenko said.
“What’s interesting is that they don’t have a coach at the moment, there’s no point in having a player if the (new) coach doesn’t want said player.”
What could play a key role in Staines’ decision is Cameron Ciraldo’s future.
The Panthers assistant coach is being targeted by both the Bulldogs and Tigers as they search for replacements for Trent Barrett and Michael Maguire.
“But what’s interesting is that they both sniff Cameron Ciraldo who obviously knows what ‘Forbes Ferrari’ Charlie Staines is capable of,” Proszenko said.
“He’ll be the one to watch.”