transfer news, signings, rumours, Wests Tigers, Angus Crichton, Bulldogs, roster, Phil Gould, Selwyn Cobbo to the Roosters

The Tigers are considering making a play for Angus Crichton but face a big headache in the process.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs may be in a spot of bother right now but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Read on for the latest NRL Transfer Whispers.

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MADGE’S HEADACHE AS TIGERS CONSIDER CRICHTON BID

The Wests Tigers may have opted against making a big-money play for back-rower Briton Nikora but now they are setting their sights even higher.

According to a NewsCorp report, the Tigers are considering making a play for Sydney Roosters star Angus Crichton.

The report claims that Michael Maguire’s close relationship with Crichton from their time at South Sydney could work in the Tigers favour.

No offer has been made though, with the Tigers only said to have held internal talks about making a potential move for Crichton.

Cricthon is off-contract at the end of this year and is said to have agreed to a two-year extension to the Roosters, although it was more a handshake deal.

As it stands, no contract has been signed or registered from the NRL and a salary cap squeeze could leave the Roosters struggling to retain him.

Angus Crichton may be a man-in-demand.Source: Supplied

If the Tigers were to try sign Crichton, he would leave them facing a similar dilemma to the one that saw them opt out of pursuing Nikora.

“The Tigers have got an interest in him but it’s a bit like the situation with Briton Nikora,” The Australian’s Brent Read explained on Fox League’s ‘NLL 360’.

“The Tigers had an interest then but it depends how much he wants. If he wants too much money, the Tigers won’t be in the mix because they’re not interested in paying overs for guys and they won’t pay overs for Angus Crichton.”

There is certainly a need for the Tigers to add to their back-row stocks, with Kelma Tuilagi off to Manly, Luke Garner joining Penrith and Luciano Leilua signing with North Queensland.

Angus Crichton will have to make a big call on his future. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Parramatta’s Isaiah Papali’i is on his way but the club could use more help, although Paul Kent applauds the Tigers for not blowing their cap to find the solution.

“They’re not getting tempted into offering another $100,000,” Kent said.

“I love that the Tigers have actually found the discipline to actually start properly evaluating players and say: ‘This is what we think he’s worth and this is where we sit’. They will negotiate up to that cut-off and that’s it.”

Buzz Rothfield argued back that unless the Tigers are prepared to pay “a little bit more”, they will be stuck with the “same roster” that has consistently not produced results.

But Kent was not buying that argument.

“You’ve got to sell the dream,” he said.

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“You can’t keep paying overs. That is what’s got them in this problem. What you’ve got to do is start getting your pathways right, the kids coming through have got to start bringing a little bit of appeal to the club and then you’re going to get players seeing all these kids coming through and say to themselves : ‘I’ll go there’ but you can’t keep paying overs. That’s what gets you in that situation.

“The toughest thing to do in football administration is to get your salary cap right, get it balanced — it is very difficult. The minute you pay even $100,000 more than a player is worth, there is $100,000 you can’t spend elsewhere. That is how it begins.

“Crichton would be a good buy for the Tigers…but they can’t lose their nerve and spend too much. They simply can’t do that because the minute you do that, you can’t spend the money elsewhere where you need it.”

NEW BULLDOGS COACH SET FOR BIG BOOST

In other news, while the situation may be dire at Belmore, Brent Read has good news for the next full-time coach at the Bulldogs.

The results may not be coming right now but with an already much-improved roster starting to take shape, Read told Triple-Mthat the new coach could walk into a very attractive situation in 2024.

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“Depending on the salary cap, they could have six-to-seven million dollars to spend,” he said.

Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr have already made big-money moves to Belmore, with Reed Mahoney and Viliame Kikau also set to join the club next season.

It already makes for a promising future to build around and Read said the $6-7 million war chest could see the Bulldogs come into contention for some of the league’s biggest names.

“That brings in guys like [Cameron] Munster and Payne Haas,” he said.

“There were lots of rumors about Gus meeting with Payne Haas’ management. There was a whisper last month about Munster. All those guys are on the table given the salary cap space in 2024.

“The new coach, whoever gets the job, there might be 12 more months of difficulty but in 2024, you’re going to have blue skies, lots of money to spend and a really good quality squad. I think it’s a pretty attractive job.”

Current NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has been heavily-linked to the role, although he dodged questions about his interest in it on Tuesday.

“I’ll be coaching the Blues in a couple of weeks,” Fittler said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“I think I’ll stick to the Blues. “I’ve got one job at the moment, that’s the walk with Royce and then the next one is to coach the Blues in a couple of weeks.”

Brad Fittler has been linked to the vacant Bulldogs gig. Picture: Darren Leigh RobertsSource: News Corp Australia

ROOSTERS EAGER TO CAPTURE FUTURE SUPERSTAR

The in-demand Selwyn Cobbo has attracted yet another potential suitor, with the Sydney Roosters now eager to fight off rival clubs for the teenager’s signature, according to Wide World of Sports.

The young Broncos flyer has been in scintillating form this season, and turned the heads of the Roosters’ board after an impressive hat-trick against Manly in Magic Round.

The Roosters’ interest throws a spanner in the works for the Broncos, who have reportedly offered Cobbo a new, long-term deal beyond next season worth $2 million dollars.

With Cobbo’s current contract set to expire at the end of next season, the Roosters and any other clubs interested in signing the versatile back can begin their negotiations from November 1.

It is reported the Roosters have made contact with Cobbo’s management about a potential contract discussion when that date arrives.

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BENNETT BULLISH IN MILFORD COMMENTS

Shortly after signing a short-term contract with Newcastle, Anthony Milford is said to be ramping up talks with Wayne Bennett about a move to the Dolphins next season.

The Dolphins have already secured the signature of young gun Isaiya Katoa in the halves, but according to Wayne Bennett the Dolphins need experience over youth at this stage — and Milford could be the perfect addition to his side.

Speaking to the media as the Dolphins unveiled Budget Direct as the club’s latest sleeve sponsor, Bennett openly discussed his interest in signing Milford.

“Anthony is still on our radar,” Bennett said.

“I need experience at Redcliffe in the halves.”

“We have a great young kid coming in Katoa, but he is only a teenager and he will take some time to develop.

“We need to put some experienced guys around him, so Anthony would be great for us.”

Desperate to add to his spine ahead of the Dolphins’ debut season, Bennett is also in the mix to sign Storm star Cameron Munster, whose contract is set to expire at the end of 2023.

However, Craig Bellamy’s decision to coach on for another season at Melbourne may prevent that from happening.

According to Munster’s manager Braith Anasta, Bellamy’s decision to stay at Melbourne will influence his client’s future plans.

“He (Munster) loves playing for Bellyache and it’s a really important part of his decision,” said Munster’s agent Braith Anasta.

“It’s not all about money.”

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