Newcastle WITHDRAWS its huge offer to superstar Kalyn Ponga in stunning move that gives it room to chase Storm champion Cameron Munster
Newcastle have reportedly withdrawn their contract offer to Kalyn Ponga, in order to focus on signing Cameron Munster instead.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Knights and the star fullback had agreed a three-year extension thought to be in the region of $1.2million-a-season which would have kept Ponga with the club until 2027.
The offer, however, was pulled on Friday, leaving the Newcastle captain’s future up in the air.
Kalyn Ponga’s future at the Knights is in doubt after the club allegedly withdraw its offer
The report suggests talks broke down after certain Knights executives became uncomfortable over the influence Ponga’s father Andre appears to have gained at the club.
Andre allegedly wanted to control when the new deal would be made public, taking the decision out of the club’s hands. Newcastle were said to want to announce the new deal last week, only for Ponga’s father to insist the club hold fire.
That proved to be the final straw for some executives, who pushed to withdraw the offer. The Queenslander has until Round 10 to trigger an option for the remaining two years of his existing deal.
However, if he chooses to ignore it, he could walk away at the end of the season. That would leave him free to join the Dolphins, who have long been admirers of the fullback and are desperate to secure a marquee signing for their inaugural NRL season.
The star fullback was set to sign a three-year deal extension worth $1.2million a season
Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett is desperate to sign a marquee player ahead of next season
Earlier this month, Ponga met with Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett in Sydney, but he appeared to reject the advances and looked poised to sign an extension with the Knights instead.
The scenario has now dramatically altered and the 23-year-old could still move north of the border in the offseason.
Speaking on Nine’s coverage of Newcastle’s game against St George Illawarra on Sunday, Knights legend Andrew Johns rubbished the report.
Should they lose Ponga, the Knights could go after Storm star Cameron Munster
The five-eight was in superb form against Cronulla on Saturday (above), scoring one try and setting up another three as Melbourne won 34-18
‘I don’t believe it. Simple as that,’ Johns told Nine.
‘The Knights want to keep Kalyn at all costs. I know there is a process at the moment.
‘We all know the Dolphins are chasing him. I just simply don’t believe it, I don’t think the Knights would pull that extension.’
Should they lose Ponga, the Knights will be looking to replace him with Munster.
Knights legend Andrew Johns dismissed reports Ponga could leave Newcastle
The Queensland and Australian five-eighth is under contract with the Storm until the end of next season and may have to take a massive pay cut to remain at the club he has spent his entire NRL career at.
Munster is due to make $1.2million next season, but Fox Sports, Nine and the Sydney Morning Herald reported the Storm had tabled an offer of a new three-year deal worth $750,000.
The Dolphins are also interested in Munster, who delivered a stunning performance on Saturday as Melbourne beat Cronulla 34-18.
The 27-year-old is under contract with the Storm until 2024 and the club have made clear they will not grant him an early release.