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Canterbury supremo Phil Gould has apologised to former club Penrith after superstar Viliame Kikau's signing was leaked via a security camera image of him in Bulldogs clothing.
Kikau's new four-year deal with the Bulldogs from 2023 is expected to be confirmed in coming days, after Canterbury won a bidding war for the Fiji international second-rower's services.
The 2021 premiership-winner's signature is a massive coup for the Bulldogs, the wooden spooners, who are now assembling a formidable team under coach Trent Barrett and Gould.
He will join the likes of Tevita Pangai in the new-look pack in 2023, while Paul Vaughan has also been recruited by the club on a one-year deal for next year.
Kikau's former Penrith teammates Matt Burton and Brent Naden will also be at Canterbury next season along with NSW Origin star Josh Addo-Carr and ex-Dragons fullback Matt Dufty.
The Kikau coup came amid competition from St George Illawarra and North Queensland for the 26-year-old.
Kikau is still contracted to the Panthers for 2022 and expected to play out the season with the defending premiers, who were keen to keep him but not willing to blow their salary cap long-term to do so.
But it is the manner in which Kikau's signing became public that frustrated the Panthers.
An image from a CCTV security camera of him posing in a Bulldogs club polo with Gould and Barrett for a club photographer was leaked onto social media.
Gould then called the Panthers to apologise to his former club, while the Bulldogs have launched their own investigation to find the source of the leak.
"I called @PenrithPanthers club today to apologise for the inappropriate leaking of images, taken from security cameras, at Canterbury Leagues," Gould said on social media.
"It was not our doing, nor ever our intention, for such images to become public.
"Out of our control. Apologies to Panther players, fans."
The leaking of the image came just a day before Kikau is scheduled to join Penrith teammates at their premiers' parade on Saturday.
Burton, Naden will also be there along with Brisbane-bound Kurt Capewell and Sydney Roosters signing Paul Momirovski.
The axed Tyrone May is the fifth member of their grand final side to exit the club this summer, while fullback Dylan Edwards is the other player coming off-contract in 2022.