Cronulla are closely watching the Cody Walker stand-off at Souths as they deal with an identical dilemma over star five-eighth James Maloney.
Despite being under contract for another year, both Walker and Maloney have approached their respective clubs for immediate upgrades.
Although the numbers are vastly different, tensions surrounding the twin sets of negotiations are rising at equal rates after months of talk and no action.
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The two playmakers have been outstanding over the past 12 months, a period that has seen several of their peers rewarded with contracts far in excess of what they currently earn.
Maloney is currently on around $600,000 at the Sharks but he wants $800,000. To be fair, he’d be worth even more on the open market.
Walker re-signed with Souths as a rookie last year on a pittance – about $160,000 for this year and $220,000 for 2018.
He’d easily be worth double that now and his new management have made their feelings known to Souths, threatening to walk if an upgrade is not finalized this week.
The Rabbitohs maintain Walker won’t be granted a release, but that his pay will be reviewed once the salary cap becomes clear.
Maloney has made more subtle noises about leaving the Sharks, refusing to commit when asked about his future over the weekend.
Cronulla’s interest in Kieran Foran and Josh Reynolds reveals they are prepared to also move on.
Now we can reveal they’ve also made contact with Walker’s management after becoming aware of the corresponding drama at Redfern.
It’s worth remembering that Maloney has now played for five clubs – and never been re-signed. Newcastle and Melbourne are ready to pounce should Maloney leave.