Bulldogs sets sights on gun trio
IT could be the great Belmore heist.
Desperate for outside backs, Canterbury have identified Brisbane winger Jamayne Isaako, Newcastle centre Jesse Ramien and Storm three-quarter Curtis Scott as potential targets to bolster their backline.
Early reports indicate the Bulldogs may look to sign Scott for the remainder of this year.
Isaako isn't off contract at Brisbane until after 2022 and Ramien is a Knight until the end of next season.
But contracts appear virtually worthless these days in rugby league and Ramien has privately expressed a concern at receiving such little possession this season.
No formal discussions have started, but all three players are firmly on the Bulldogs' radar.
It is unclear whether Canterbury would target one, two or all three of the players.
The Bulldogs are aware the club needs to increase its strike power out wide.
Isaako, Ramien and Scott have all been touted as rising stars of the NRL.
Scott is the most interesting situation. It was just a year ago he was being heavily discussed as a centre candidate for the NSW State of Origin squad.
But seemingly out-of-favour with Storm coach Craig Bellamy this season, Scott has been playing with Melbourne's feeder club, Sunshine Coast, for the past two weeks.
Rival clubs have quickly identified Scott - a former Cronulla Shark - as a possible target.
Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill did not return calls on Wednesday.
There is growing speculation Melbourne would be open for Scott - part of the Storm's 2017 premiership-winning side - to test the market. Even with recent injuries, Bellamy has resisted promoting Scott into his NRL side.
Will Chambers and Marion Seve have been retained in the centres for Melbourne's match against Parramatta in Brisbane on Saturday night.
Scott played in Sunshine Coast's whopping 72-4 win over Souths Logan last weekend but failed to register a try.
Sources close to Melbourne claim Scott has endured some recent disciplinary issues.
Melbourne has not totally given up on Scott. There are elements within the club that believe they can turn Scott's form around and that he can still play a role in Melbourne's campaign this season.
"That's just rumours, mate. From what I know, I'm close with Curtis, he's quite happy here," Storm co-captain Jesse Bromwich said.
"He's been training really well; he's just been competing. That's the best thing about Curtis, in my opinion.
"The way he competes at training and competes in the games is what makes him the player he is."
"I know for a fact we want to have him around here. I know he's doing all right. He took having a rest quite harshly but that's just him, mate.
"He's a competitor and he wants to be out there (in the NRL) competing."