Veteran rugby league journalist Phil Rothfield has called out Mitchell Moses over his protracted contract negotiations with the Eels and Wests Tigers. The Parramatta halfback is off contract at the end of the 2023 season, with the Eels and Tigers both vying for his signature.
Reports emerged last week that Moses is set to spurn the Tigers and take less money to stay at Parramatta. But nearly one week later there has been no word on his decision.
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The Sydney Morning Herald reported last Tuesday that Moses will remain at Parramatta, claiming he was “set to end months of speculation over his future and sign a new deal with Parramatta”. The publication cited 'sources' close to Moses that he had “made up his mind and wants to stay at the Eels”.
Discussing the situation on Monday, Rothfield provided new details about the contract stand-off and labelled the delay 'disappointing' on the eve of the new season. “This one has dragged on and on and on, it’s been an enormous frustration for Parramatta Eels fans,” Rothfield said on the Big Sports Breakfast radio show.
“Parramatta have bumped their offer up to $1.2 million which is still a little bit short of what the Wests Tigers have offered. The Wests Tigers have not been informed that Mitch Moses has rejected their offer and the Parramatta Eels have not been informed that he’s staying there.
“I don’t blame the player here because it’s a big contract and it could be one of the final deals he signs in his career, but I don’t know why he’s required this much time. The offers are there on the table. I’m a little bit disappointed he hasn’t made his decision. Just for Parramatta fans.
“When these things drag on and drag on, the person who suffers is not the manager, not the club, it’s the player and his reputation. People immediately think, ‘geez is he being greedy?’ He’s been offered $1.2m to stay at a really powerful club ... I don’t think it does him any good and I think he’s long overdue to make the call."
Eels teammate Regan Campbell-Gillard admitted they hadn't been informed about which way Moses is going to go. “If he goes, he goes. It’s football and it’s part of looking after yourself,” Campbell-Gillard said. "I’m pretty sure he’ll stay but it hasn’t put a cloud or anything over our heads going into the game and I’m sure it’ll be done very soon.”
Luke Brooks wants Mitchell Moses back at Tigers
Luke Brooks, who came into first grade around the same time as Moses with the Tigers, previously said he'd pulled out all the stops to get Moses back at Leichhardt. Moses and Brooks played in the halves together at the Tigers before Moses left to join the Eels in 2017.
"I've spoken to him a couple times and told him what the vibe was like and how much it has changed - I've been selling the place to him," Brooks said. "I'm not too sure what his thoughts are, but I think he'd be a great addition to our side and I'd love to play with him again.
"I think when we came in (to the NRL) we were very young. We sort of spoke before about how we would like to have a chance to play together again. Whether that's now or not, I don't know but hopefully he makes a decision soon, the one that's best for him."
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