The Eels face both their halves being on the open market at the end of the season after a player option in Mitchell Moses’ extension was revealed.
Meanwhile, Sharks star Briton Nikora is open to joining New Zealand coach Michael Maguire at the Wests Tigers.
Read on for all the latest NRL Transfer Whispers†
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CONTRACT TWIST THAT WILL SEE EELS STAR BECOME FREE AGENT
Eels halfback Mitchell Moses could become a free agent come November 1 after it was revealed he has a player option in his favor for the final year of his contract.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Moses, who is contracted until the end of 2024, will technically be a free agent come November, until he takes up his player option for the final 12 months of his deal.
Moses has gone under the radar with Cameron Munster’s future gaining all the attention, but the Eels star is arguably one of the best players set to go on the open market at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old is regarded as one of the best playmakers in the game and is in the midst of arguably his best season in first grade, with him forging a brilliant partnership with Dylan Brown.
The decisions from Nathan Cleary, Daly Cherry-Evans and Jahrome Hughes to re-sign with their clubs long-term leaves Moses as the only elite halfback available for 2024, which will see his asking price skyrocket.
The Eels were thought to have locked up Moses on a long-term deal in May last year, but it was not known that he had an option in his favor that would allow him to test the market again at the end of the 2022 season.
While Moses is happy at the Eels, the club now faces a fight on their hands to retain both their star halves at the end of the year, with Brown also free to negotiate with rivals from November 1.
Given the form of the pair to start the season and the fact the club paid big money to re-sign Clint Gutherson and Junior Paulo, one or both of Moses and Brown may have to take less than what they could get on the open market to keep the playmaking duo together.
Moses has scored 31 tries and 912 points in 177 NRL games for the Tigers and Eels since his debut in 2014 and has also played one Origin for NSW and four Tests for Lebanon.
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SHARKS STAR OPEN TO JOINING KIWI COACH AT TIGERS
Sharks second-rower Briton Nikora has refused to close the door on a possible switch to the Tigers.
The Daily Telegraph reported Nikora will weigh up all options as he aims to get the best deal for him and his young family.
Nikora is off-contract at the end of the season and is expected to be forced out of the Sharks due to salary cap pressure and the money he could obtain on the open market.
The 24-year-old has also been linked to the Eels, but reports he shut down links to the Tigers are premature.
“I love the Sharks,” Nikora said.
“And, of course, I would love to stay here. But I also have to think about what is best for myself and my family at this stage of my career.
“I have to consider what is out there. I really just want to stay out of all this and concentrate on my football.”
Nikora has a relationship with Tigers coach Michael Maguire from their time together with the New Zealand national team and he admits it could be a factor in his contract call.
“I know ‘Madge’ from the Kiwis and he is a good fella and a good coach,” Nikora said.
“I have a few things to weigh up but as I said, no decisions have been made and my manager will sort it out.”
Nikora is currently out due to Covid protocols, but is expected back in time for Round 7.
He has scored 18 tries in 67 games for the Sharks since his debut in 2019 and played his four Tests for the Kiwis that same year.
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CLUB OPTION THAT COULD SEE EELS CUT STAR RECRUIT
Parramatta have an option in their favor to cut recruit and currently injured Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson after just one season.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported The Eels have an option in their favor to trigger the final year of Hodgson’s two-year contract, which expires at the end of 2024.
The Eels have lost star hooker Reed Mahoney to the Bulldogs after the 2022 season, with Hodgson recruited to fill his considerable void at No.9.
However Hodgson is currently out for the year with a knee injury, which has seen him rubbed out for the season for the second time in three years.
It continues a worrying run with injuries for the aging star, who also missed most of the 2020 season with a knee injury.
Hodgson required a knee reconstruction after going down in the first game of the season against the Sharks and faces a long recovery to be fit in time for next season, his first in Eels colours.
The 32-year-old has scored 14 tries in 138 games for the Raiders since his NRL debut in 2015, while he has also scored 37 tries in 136 Super League games for Hull and has played 23 Tests for England and Great Britain.
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