The Cowboys could have a fight on their hands for one of the club’s brightest stars but it is a different story at Red Hill.
Plus — the Eels have bolstered their depth with a handy signing.
Here are all the latest transfer whispers from around the NRL!
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BRONCOS YOUNGSTER GIVEN PERMISSION TO LOOK ELSEWHERE
The Broncos have reportedly given wantaway fullback Tesi Niu permission to negotiate with rival clubs.
Following the signing of Reece Walsh, the 21-year-old slipped even further down the pecking order with Herbie Farnworth also vying for the No.1 jersey.
But now, according to The Daily Telegraph, Niu’s Broncos career is all but over after his management gained permission to discuss a potential deal with interested clubs.
Brisbane are reportedly willing to honour his contract, which has one-year remaining, should he be unable to find a deal.
However the Dolphins and the Knights have reportedly firmed as the two frontrunners for his signature, having previously been linked with the Tongan international.
Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett is a fan of Niu and said he is “interested” in the young fullback should he emerge as a potential signing.
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“I didn’t realise Tesi had been given permission to negotiate with other clubs, but if he is available, yes we’re interested in him,” Bennett said.
“I haven’t seen a lot of Tesi but what I have seen of him, I have liked.
“I didn’t know Brisbane were prepared to let him go but we’ll have a talk internally and make a decision on whether to sign him.
“There’s no deal done with Tesi, but he has something to offer and he is one guy we will look to talk to when the time is right.”
Walters reportedly informed Farnworth, Walsh and Niu there was no clear frontrunner for the No.1 jersey when the Broncos take on the Panthers in Round 1 of the 2023 season.
But Niu, who lost his fullback spot to Te Maire Martin last season, is seeking regular first grade football and is preparing to depart Red Hill.
The NRL’s newest franchise have five spots remaining on their debut NRL roster as Bennett’s pursuit of a marquee man is yet to eventuate.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are desperate to move Kalyn Ponga into the halves to get the ball in the hands of their million-dollar man.
The Knights signed Jackson Hastings in a huge swap deal with the Tigers, with David Klemmer going the opposite way.
Ponga will likely partner Hastings, but O’Brien remains without a first-grade quality fullback to take up the No.1 jersey.
RACE FOR COWBOYS GUN NANAI HEATS UP
Cowboys young gun Jeremiah Nanai has reportedly been handed a whopping $4.2 million five-year deal to make the move to a Sydney NRL club.
The 19-year-old superstar signed a one-year extension at the start of the year to prolong the feeding frenzy and since November 1 the backrower has received multiple offers according to The Daily Telegraph.
The mammoth five-year deal tabled by one club includes three seasons on $800,000 before the final two years of the deal increase to $900,000.
Nanai has only 27 NRL appearances under his belt but boasts an incredibly impressive resume which includes a State of Origin series victory, a World Cup and a preliminary finals appearance.
The young gun was also named Dally M Rookie of the Year for the 2022 season and despite the lucrative deals on offer, North Queensland powerbrokers are confident they can retain the young gun.
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North Queensland football boss Micheal Luck revealed that the club will begin contract negotiations as soon as Nanai returns from England.
“We know there will be interest and we would like to think as soon as he comes back home we can begin discussions again about securing him long term,” Luck said.
“We understand other clubs will come in with big offers, but we would love him to see out his career here.
“We’ll put forward a package that makes Jeremiah and his family comfortable with his future here.
“We’re confident our offer will be competitive regardless of what other clubs are offering and we’d like to think at this stage of Jeremiah’s career he is confident in our club and the direction we’re heading in.”
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In 2022, Nanai scored a staggering 17 tries to sit alongside some of the competition’s top outside backs.
“Jeremiah is a North Queensland kid and we’d like to think when he commits, he will commit to a time frame that makes both parties comfortable. We are happy to work with him and his family on what suits him best.
“If it’s a one-year deal, it’s a year, if it’s a multi-year deal, that’s great, too.
“I know he likes Todd as a coach and how he was brought along this year. I would like to think Jeremiah will stay.”
EELS BOLSTER DEPTH WITH BROWN BACK-UP
The Parramatta Eels have bolstered their depth by signing utility Daejarn Asi on a two-year deal, foxsports.com.au understands.
Asi, who was without a contract for the upcoming 2023 season, joined the Warriors earlier this year after struggling for regular minutes at the Cowboys.
The Warriors though had plenty of halves depth of their own with Luke Metcalf travelling across the ditch from Cronulla to join Shaun Johnson and Ronald Volkman as leading options.
It left Asi looking for a deal elsewhere and he has found it at Parramatta and is set to join the club next week to commence training ahead of the new season.
Having played fullback, centre and five-eighth during his career Asi will be a valuable asset for the Eels, who are looking to build on last year’s grand final appearance.
He could also give Parramatta a back-up plan should star five-eighth Dylan Brown leave the club at the end of next year.
Speaking to foxsports.com.au in Manchester after New Zealand bowed out of contention at the World Cup, Brown said he was torn as rival clubs circle.
“Security is good, it’s never easy deciding your future, it’s always hard, you’ve got to do what’s best for you and your family,” Brown said.
“At the end of the day it’s all for my family so I’ll discuss with them, it’s not a decision I’m going to make on my own. But I’m excited to sort my future out.
“I love the Eels, I’ve enjoyed playing with them and I’ve been playing with some great players on that team.
“It’s sad to see some of my good mates go, Reed (Mahoney) is leaving, Ice (Isaiah Papali’i) is leaving and a few more boys, but I have to see what’s best for my family.”