The battle for Ash Taylor's signature has intensified with the Broncos speaking to the star halfback and personally pitching him on a move to Red Hill, Seven News can reveal.
However, the Gold Coast have responded with a four-year deal worth around $3.5 million which they want the 22-year-old to sign before November 1 in a move to cut Brisbane off.
But the Broncos won’t be the only club making an offer for the prodigious talent who is off contract at the end of 2018.
While the Titans are confident he will stay, rival clubs believe Taylor will wait until the new year to sign a deal and believe he's genuinely interested in leaving the tourist strip.
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It is understood Taylor is concerned with a lack of stability at the Titans and wants to play for premierships which the Gold Coast could be years away from contending for.
The Broncos will not make a formal offer until the NRL’s salary cap future is settled.
The lure of a premiership ring is increasingly stronger than cash, helping Brisbane’s case.
Taylor played one game for the Broncos before the club granted him an early release to join the Gold Coast in 2016.
That generosity hasn’t been forgotten by the Emerging Maroons playmaker.
The Titans have been trying to re-sign Taylor for four months and have gone public in their wish to settle the deal prior to November 1 which is now just two weeks away.
If Taylor was content on the Coast, he would have signed the deal already – a deal that will make him the richest player at the club not named Jarryd Hayne.
Taylor will effectively take Hayne’s salary when the out of form fullback moves on at the end of next year.
Under the NRL’s complicated and archaic tampering rules, rival clubs can sign Taylor on November 1 even though he’s not off contract until the end of next year.
The Storm loom as a major threat to the Titans and Broncos.
They offered Anthony Milford serious money to leave the Broncos and while they have emerging half Brodie Croft, Taylor is a superior player who is already NRL proven.
Taylor led the NRL this season in try-assists with 29.
He’s second only to Cooper Cronk as the code’s best attacking kicker with the majority of his assists the product of a right boot he has complete control over.
The biggest issue facing Brisbane’s premiership hopes is a lack of an organising kicker.
In Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford they have two run-first halves who are solid playmakers but don’t relish organising a set.
Darius Boyd is the best passer in the team hence why his finals absence and injury-affected performance against the Storm cruelled Brisbane’s season.
Because of the lack of organising in the halves, Boyd is a serious option for the Broncos five-eighth position next year. Star signing Jack Bird will begin the season at lock or centre.
Boyd in the halves doesn’t solve the Broncos’ average kicking game, Taylor does.
They will need him to accept unders to join them though, which is easier than most think.
In today’s market an undervalued contract for a top-line half is $600,000 compared to $300,000 just a decade ago.