NSW Origin centre Michael Jennings is tipped to be a Sydney Rooster by the end of the week, though the Roosters claim the ball is in the court of NRL rivals Penrith.
Jennings is believed to be on the way out, a simmering feud with Penrith boss Phil Gould and a $600,000-a-year contract enough of an incentive for the club to release the brilliant back.
But just how much of Jennings’ heavily back-ended contract the Panthers are prepared to chew up remains a sticking point, with the Roosters understood to be willing to offer a $2 million four-year deal.
Gould is not keen to pay for Jennings to play for another club, while the player himself has so far refused to take a pay cut.
Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan said it was up to the Panthers to agree to a release before his club could make a move, Canavan denying he had met with Jennings or his management on Monday.
“There’s been no contact there today at all,” he said.
“The issue from our understanding lies with the player and his management and the Penrith Panthers.”
While last month’s decision to release BJ Leilua – who has linked up with Newcastle – has freed up some salary cap space, Canavan admitted the Roosters would not be in a position to accommodate Jennings without an increase to the salary cap.
That increase is yet to be signed off on by the NRL, though clubs are working to a figure of $5.8 million for the 2013 season.
While Jennings remains in limbo, the Roosters locked up the future of gun backrower Boyd Cordner through to the end of the 2016 season.
Cordner established himself as an NRL regular in 2012, having played 29 top grade games to date.
“Boyd has been part of our commitment to develop our young players over the past few years,” Roosters recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said.
“To ensure that we have him here for a number of years is a major coup for our club and a major vote of confidence in where we are heading.
“Boyd is a tough competitor with true leadership potential for the way he conducts himself on the footy field and at training, and we see him as the cornerstone of our pack for the next decade.”