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Transfer Whispers, Wests Tigers roster, Aidan Sezer, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui activates free agent clause, Gold Coast Titans, Bulldogs, contract

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The Wests Tigers are reportedly on the verge of coming to an agreement with former Canberra Raiders halfback Aidan Sezer.

However it may not be a popular signing according to a report from The Daily Telegraph claiming Benji Marshall and Tigers recruitment boss Scott Fulton disagreed over the move.

The Tigers have been linked to former Melbourne Storm playmaker Brodie Croft as well this week as they look to fill the void left by the departing Luke Brooks next season.

Croft though is said to be looking for a long-term deal while Sezer is only after a short-term contract, making him a more attractive prospect for the rebuilding Tigers.

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Aidan Sezer could be back in the NRL. Picture Kym SmithSource: News Corp Australia

Speaking on Triple M’s ‘The Saturday Scrum’, The Daily Telegraph’s Brent Read said the “biggest challenge” for the Tigers is getting everyone to agree when it comes to recruitment.

“This is an interesting one because obviously the Tigers have tried every man and his dog in terms of halves,” Read said.

“Shaun Johnson, Mitchell Moses, Cameron Munster, Jack Wighton… they’ve obviously now turned to England because Aidan Sezer and Brodie Croft are the two names being thrown around at the moment. Aidan Sezer is a guy as I understand it that Benji Marshall is quite interested in bringing him back, Brodie Croft as well.

“The benefit of Aidan Sezer I would think is that he would only be a short-term deal while Brodie Croft is looking for a really a long-term deal and apparently the money that is being mentioned in relation to Brodie Croft is quite significant.

“So if they make a play for Brodie Croft they’d have to sign him to a long-term deal, pay a transfer fee and are sort of locked in if things don’t work out. While Aidan Sezer would be a short-term option.”

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas reported he was also hearing there are contrasting views on the potential signing of Sezer within the club.

Benji Marshall reportedly wants Sezer at the Tigers. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I don’t think everyone is convinced Aidan Sezer is the right option,” Chammas said.
“I think Benji wants Aidan Sezer but I don’t think everyone at the club agrees on that.”

“That’s arguably their biggest challenge at the moment, getting everyone on the same page,” added Read.

“Benji and obviously Scott Fulton being the guys we’re talking about because they haven’t necessarily agreed on all the players the club has pursued.”

Sheens earlier in the week confirmed the club’s interest in Croft but said the former Storm halfback was one of several names discussed as potential targets.

“He has been discussed and there’s a lot of halves being discussed that we are looking at both here and in England,” he said.

“I don’t want to start discussing if, whats and maybes in that area.

“Once we do something we’ll let you know. We want an experienced head … we do need an organiser who can run the game for us.”

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The Tigers were also said to be chasing rising Manly youngsters Latu and Samuela Fainu but the club may pay a cost for their poor form with Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins circling.

“I think what they’re finding is [that] because they’re playing so poorly and going so badly agents are reluctant to send their players there,” added Read.

“I think they thought the Fainu one would be there because of Scott’s relationship with his agent Mario Tartak but the fact they’re not getting better and not playing good footy… and the Dolphins are coming really hard for the Fainus.

“They both met with Wayne Bennett. I don’t think that has been as easy a negotiation as they thought it would be.”

‘HE OWES THEM’: MESSAGE TO TINO AS TITANS STAR WEIGHS UP FUTURE

Tino Fa’asuamaleaui has activated the free agent clause in his contract with the Bulldogs leading a long line of clubs interested in luring the Origin star on potentially $1.1 million a season.

The front row enforcer had a clause in his contract that allowed him to negotiate with rivals if Justin Holbrook was sacked in a potential disaster repercussion for the Titans.

“Tino Fa’asuamaleaui has activated his free agent clause,” Yvonne Sampson said on Fox League after a report from The Courier Mail.

“The Titans captain you would think would be able to name his price at any club that would be a great fit for him.

“This would be a monumental loss for the Titans, but they have the capacity to go to $1 million next year and then $1.1 million in 2025.

“Is that the sort of money that Fa’asuamaleaui is commanding?”

“Absolutely he is right at the top of the tree when you talking about middles,” Greg Alexander said.

“He is as good as they come, so that is the sort of money you would need to pay to either keep him or lure him away.”

Michael Ennis believes clubs will be lining up for a player of the calibre of the Titans captain and he could be the difference to turn a team into a title winning side.

“He went to the Titans on the back of some great potential that he showed at the Storm, but Melbourne at that stage were stacked and the Titans were in desperate need of a marquee forward,” Ennis said.

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Tino Fa’asuamaleaui will test his value on the open market.Source: The Daily Telegraph

“And he has delivered in spades. I can absolutely understand why he is testing the open market.

“And I think every single club will try and find a way to fit Tino into their roster. He is that good. I have not seen Tino have a bad game.

“And every time he gets challenged he steps up. He thrives in the Origin arena. He is absolutely one of the elite.

“You look at sides when they win competitions and you look at their front row. Along with some of their decision makers it is one of the most important parts of winning premierships and he is one of the blokes that can elevate you to a premiership.”

But Queensland legend Darren Lockyer has called for the hulking prop to remain loyal to the Titans, claiming he “owes” the club.

Lockyer believes the Gold Coast club have already invested heavily in the young captain and he should ply his trade under premiership-winning coach Des Hasler.

“They took a risk in making him captain so early. They believe in him, they’ve invested in him,” Lockyer said on WWOS.

“For me he feels like the type of player who wants to be the leader at that club and stay there for a long period of time … I’m sure that he feels he is the type of person that feels that he owes the Coast.”

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Fellow Maroons legend Wally Lewis urged Fa’asuamaleaui to give Hasler a chance.

“I think (he should consider) the possibilities of the coach, with Des Hasler,” Lewis said.

“When (Des) was first involved in Manly there were people screaming with complaints, but almost immediately they stopped whinging and said he’s put us into a great spot.”

Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo confirmed the Bulldogs would be interested in the Queensland prop.

“We are trying to build a squad and we have got salary cap space available for quality players,” Ciraldo said.

“I’m sure if Tino became available we might have those conversations, but at the moment we haven’t had those conversations.”

MAM’S EXTENSION TALKS BEGIN WITH BRONCOS

The Broncos have reportedly moved swiftly to extend young gun Ezra Mam before he hits the open market on November 1.

The 20-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the 2024 season and multiple NRL clubs would be vying for his signature if he hits the open market.

Mam has becomes the club’s first-choice five-eighth over the last two seasons, forming a formidable partnership with veteran halfback Adam Reynolds.

According to The Courier Mail, Mam is set to join the long list of young players who have extended their stay at Red Hill.

Reece Walsh, Selwyn Cobbo, Pat Carrigan and Kotoni Staggs are all contracted until at least 2025 and Mam is set to join them as long-term Broncos players.

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