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Parramatta prepared to let Tongan backrower Manu Ma’u leave the club

PARRAMATTA backrower Manu Ma’u has emerged as one of the hottest prospects on the NRL player market.

Off contract at the end of season 2019, the powerhouse forward has attracted interest from at least six NRL clubs and at least three English Super League sides.

At this stage, it is unlikely he’ll remain at the Eels in 2020 with the club signalling they had no intention on moving forward with the Tongan international.

However, the Saturday Telegraph understands that Ma'u was initially told a release from the final year of his contract would be granted if he found another club for the 2019 season.

But interest in the second-rower has been so great, it’s believed the Eels have now changed their mind and want him to fulfil the final year of his deal.

Ma’u has been one of Parramatta’s most consistent players in recent years. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

His manager Tyran Smith says if the right offer was tabled by another club then he would do what it takes to ensure his client was looked after.

“If a club shows some interest in securing or requests to secure Manu’s services for 2019 and beyond, then I have to do what’s for my client,” Smith said.

“If he’s interested in leaving or if it’s a wish of his and he wants to pursue it then I will request a release and I will do what’s required.”

Up to half a dozen NRL sides, including Newcastle, North Queensland, Canterbury and South Sydney, are all vying for his signature.

In England, Ma'u is on the radar of the Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves. But it’s understood his preference is to stay in Australia to raise his young family.

The Rabbitohs were particularly keen on Ma'u for 2019 given they are yet to recruit a replacement for NSW Blues backrower Angus Crichton, who is bondi-bound on a lucrative three-year deal.

Eels centre Michael Jennings still has two years left on his contract but has been linked to the Knights.

The Saturday Telegraph also understands Parramatta forward Kane Evans, who is contracted until the end of season 2020, is being shopped around by the club.

Clubs are lining up to sign Ma’u. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts.

Superstar back Jarryd Hayne is still a free agent but could well end up re-signing with Parramatta if they are able to free up the salary cap space for next year.

Parramatta CEO Bernie Gurr didn’t return calls from The Saturday Telegraph on Friday.

Source: https://outline.com/kbq7GC

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Why are fans having meltdowns all because we are letting the players who achieved last place in 2018 leave?

Because it suits their flawed agenda. Retention and recruitment is all BA and it's disgraceful. But we're moving on an older underperforming player to potentially keep someone like Niukore - but, but, but, well somehow it's BAs fault and somehow it's wrong, don't go trying to bring logic into it, its it's another eels blog so I have to bag BA somehow. It's ridiculous what the haters come up with.

brissyeel I don't hate BA but I certainly have stopped believing he is the 1 to be head coach. As for your logic it is flawed as it is BA who decides who to chase and who gets extentions so he is partly to blame. But the reason for our situation is not all BA's fault as it starts at the top and that includes Gurr and Max and they need to take responsability and be moved on as soon as  possible as Max has been here long enough and can not blame past  ceo's and crew any longer, its his watch and has failed.

i thought things had been put in place now . with Mark ONeil as head of football recruitment and what ever .plus extra staff to help the coaching staff .plus i dont think Max has much to do with the football side of things and M Gurr is doing his job as the CEO .So a lot of changes have been put in place .Will it all pan out stuffed if i know .but im willing to wait and see .were mistakes made in the past you betcha . but just because of the past does not mean that things cant turn around in the future.so i say lets give them a break.and see what happens

LOL - that's what I constantly think Mack - who cares who they let go - the more the merrier.

Manu was one of a handful that always put in and he certainly wasn’t one of the problems last year...probs got him for a song and could’ve left to go to any club at last contract renewal. How many do you have as honest and hardworking as he is on the field?

Strange how  fans demand loyalty but rarely appreciate it in return.

macybrown; Go along with that mb. He has been one of my favorites since he came into 1st grade. If he does go it seems he will not have trouble getting a good contract. He wants to live in OZ, so good luck to him. Typical of Arthur making the wrong move and then having doubts because of the huge interest in Mm from elsewhere.

By the sounds of it Robert the clearing of the decks is part of the review recommendations, a lot of these players are on more coin than what they are worth. We could possibly keep a few of them but it would be at a reduced rate. My only concern is who will be coach in 2020, this needs to be sorted early next season, if that means re-signing BA or getting in a new coach this needs to be done so they have the opportunity to go out and recruit for '20. If they are giving BA 'til round 10 I think it is a big mistake, then they have to go through the process of securing a new coach and by the time they get one half the players on the market will have been signed up by other clubs. Either let BA finish his contract and start looking for his replacement now or re-sign BA and start the recruitment drive for '20. When you think about it why give BA 'til round 10 because a lot of the players won't be with us the following year, the players will be playing for their futures but BA will get the credit if they happen to perform.

Macy, I do agree with you regarding MM, this last season he was not the player he was in previous years, many have commented that the opposition really targeted him which is correct and his injury did not help his cause this year either.

I believe at his best he should be kept, and at his best was seen with the combinations on the left side that set Semi up a lot, he had a very good offload to Taka on that sit through Norms and on to Semi, with Semi gone, his passing game went and he tried to be a battering ram 2nd rower, which his body size I don't believe fitted with that, but no doubting the size of heart though.

His tackling has always been tops, so overall I would like to see him stay, especially as he is closing in on 100games for the eels. The story that the club wants to release him as well as Evans, I would say that MM would get much more interest and monetary return from MM going than Evans as the eels would likely have to pay him to go, maybe to sit besides Barrett.  Certainly to release others such as Taka, may be better options in keeping a solid 2nd rower, but maybe the club is just testing the market to see what comes up in offers.

Beats me though, why a solid forward as you say now goes into the NRL ORF season lucky dip, thing is that doesn't just apply to the eels either.

Shows how good BA and the recruitment team are, 2 more years for Mennings when he has not been anything outstanding, extention for reserve grade Kaysa and crew yet can not re sign our prodigal son in Hayne and want to release 1 of our best forwards. This and shopping all our players around just shows how unprofessional and clueless from Max down to bush coach BA are.

Well when Manu is your best forward you know you are in trouble.

Shane, the club has given MJ permission to leave, and there is something of confusion to how long his contract goes for, some have him here until end of 2020 which you are suggesting and something I also thought a while back, thing is the following info from Wiki on him may help or just confuse more.

On 18 January, Jennings signed a 4-year contract with the Parramatta Eels starting effective immediately, after being released from the final year of his Roosters contract.[61][62] In Round 1 of the 2016 NRL season, Jennings made his club debut for the Parramatta Eels in the season opening match against the Brisbane Broncos, playing at centre in the Eels 17-4 loss at Parramatta Stadium  

Apparently the contract included an option in his favour for next year. Why wouldn't it be taken up as he is guaranteed $800,00 for the season which I would suggest would need at least half being paid by the eels to release him to any suitor,

Pritchard along with Mahoney will fight out for the 9 spot, and he would be on a minimalist contract that is for one year only and he is more than just a reserve grade player as well.

While its unpleasant to see players let go and said they can look elsewhere if they can get a contract, there will be a huge chunk of the 17 players off contract end or 2019 that will be let go also, but some may get short extensions depending on how they perform next year as well.

Max is not here solely for the NRL side but he is put in to his position by the government to get the whole of the business back running after the rorts that took place and money mismanagement issues at the PLC and the salary cap issues a couple of years back, other words he was appointed administrator, with his primary duty to get the whole business back on to a sound financial footing. Not all BA"s fault either.


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