Eels star ‘on the radar’ of rival as ‘concerned’ teammates talk to club: Transfer Whispershttps://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/81b5b65ee3ed40c597a67b45effc2254?width=640 640w, https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/81b5b65ee3ed40c597a67b45effc2254?width=768 768w" layout="responsive" attribution="test" i-amphtml-ssr="" data-hero="" class="i-amphtml-layout-responsive i-amphtml-layout-size-defined i-amphtml-element i-amphtml-built i-amphtml-layout" i-amphtml-layout="responsive" i-amphtml-auto-lightbox-visited="" lightbox="i-amphtml-auto-lightbox-0">https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/81b5b65ee3ed40c597a67b45effc2254?width=640 640w, https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/81b5b65ee3ed40c597a67b45effc2254?width=768 768w" alt="SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Dylan Brown of the Eels reacts before the round nine NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium on May 07, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)" data-hero="" />SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Dylan Brown of the Eels reacts before the round nine NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium on May 07, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Parramatta’s pain could get even worse with a rival circling yet another star, while the club is going to have to “pay overs” to keep a big-name player.
Meanwhile, the loss of Marate Niukore, Isaiah Papali’i and Reed Mahoney for the 2023 season is reportedly worrying other players and they have raised their concerns with the club.
And three star hookers have already been shopped to the Eels as a replacement for Mahoney.
The 2023 roster is a sore point for Eels fans and things could get even worse.
Social media was sent into a spin when it was revealed on Thursday that star hooker Reed Mahoney had signed a four-year deal with the Bulldogs, to begin in 2023.
The news came exactly one week after fellow Eel Isaiah Papali’i signed with the Wests Tigers and two weeks after Marate Niukore signed with the Warriors.
And now gun five-eighth Dylan Brown is the latest Eel to be linked to a rival club, with Channel 7’s Michelle Bishop tellingSEN: “Dylan Brown is another one, the Warriors are keen, he is on their radar.”
Brown comes off contract at the end of 2022 and has flown under the radar with much of the attention being on the future of Mahoney, Niukore, Papali’i, Junior Paulo and Clint Gutherson.
It’s been a bloodbath at Parramatta headquarters lately, however there was one positive when Gutherson finally signed an extension after drawn-out negotiations.
But the skipper’s lengthy talks, as well as reports about what the Eels offered Papali’i and Mahoney, has put the club under intense scrutiny for lowballing players.
Papali’i knocked back Parramatta’s two-year extension offer at $425,000-per-season. The Tigers pounced and locked in the Dally M Second Rower of the Year on a three-year deal at $600,000-per-season.
It was a similar scenario with Mahoney who the Eels tabled an initial offer to and then upped it but it still fell close to $100,000 short of the $650,000 salary the Bulldogs offered.
The attention now turns to Paulo, who has had interest from Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins.
Bishop told SEN that she believes Paulo will likely stay at the Eels but the club will have to fork out the cash now that they’ve lost so many players.
“If I’m Parramatta I’m escorting (Junior Paulo) into the boardroom and ask him how much does he want. They’ll have to, they’re in no other position, they’ll have to pay overs for him,” she said.
“I can’t see him moving on to be honest. That’s one player I believe will stay, that’s my gut feeling.”
Bishop also revealed that there is concern amongst some players around what the 2023 roster will look like.
“There were reports around Parramatta not being interested in Nick Cotric. I can tell you now there’s some players that are asking ‘please, can we do something? We need to bring someone here.’
“That’s what level of conversation that players are getting involved in. They are concerned.”