Gutherson has declined Parramatta’s first offer. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts.
Gutherson has declined Parramatta’s first offer. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts.

Eels go big to keep Moses and Gutho

Parramatta have launched a raid worth more than $4 million to keep rival clubs from circling key players Clint Gutherson and Mitchell Moses.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt the Eels have tabled significant contracts to the duo having identified them as key to the long-term future of the club. Gutherson was offered the richest deal in his career - a contract worth almost $2 million across three years. That deal was significantly upped on the original $450,000 offer the Eels made to their captain before Christmas.

Gutherson has rejected the current offer, preparing to test himself on the open market. But the Eels have not given up hope of securing Gutherson long-term.

Moses has rebounded with his good form reflective of a substantial $750,000 a year offer which is now in the hands of his management. Eels officials have made retaining the duo a priority among a host of teammates who are off-contract including Tim Mannah, Michael Jennings, Daniel Alvaro and Manu Ma'u.

The Eels are also expected to launch a bid to lock in five-eighth Dylan Brown on a long-term deal before the end of next month. Brown, who is sidelined with a back injury, is not off-contract until the end of 2020 but the Eels want to keep the half on an extended deal before rival clubs pounce.

Coach Brad Arthur also won't know his fate until June with the board putting off a decision on his long-term future until the season reaches its midway point.

Parramatta are also hopeful of extending veteran Tim Mannah's deal by a further season. The Eels are keen on keeping the highly popular Mannah at the club once his career ends. Mannah has suggested he could test the open market but the 31-year-old could finish up as the second-most capped Eels player of all-time if he remains at the club.

Jennings has also sprung back to form. The 30-year-old is in the final season of a rich four year deal he signed after being part of a Roosters premiership winning side and rising to be a representative star. He could be granted another contract but at a cheaper price.

Moses is poised to re-sign with the club. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts.
Moses is poised to re-sign with the club. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts.

Alvaro, Ma'u, Tepai Moeroa and Brad Takairangi are among the other off-contract players who could have their deals extended.

Parramatta have made no secret of the desire to lure a big front-rower to join the club having missed out on South Sydney's George Burgess for this year. The South Sydney prop remains off-contract with the Eels on the lookout of adding some bulk to their middle.

A strike centre/edge back-rower is also on the club's radar. The Eels re-signed hooker Reed Mahoney until the end of next year and are planning on promoting a host of juniors into the top squad in the upcoming seasons - an area which has long been neglected by the Parramatta club.

News Corp Australia


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