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New details come to light in Mitchell Moses stand-off with Parramatta

Brad Arthur attempted to quell any drama surrounding the star's contract talks.

Eels coach Brad Arthur speaking to the media and Mitchell Moses speaking to the referee.
Eels coach Brad Arthur (pictured right) has moved to quell the drama surrounding Mitchell Moses' (pictured left) contract talks. (Getty Images)

Eels coach Brad Arthur has attempted to quell the drama surrounding Mitchell Moses and his contract talks, which have overshadowed Parramatta's start to the season. The reigning runners-up are one of two teams playing four of last year's finalists across the opening five weeks of the premiership.

Parramatta lost a nail-biter to the Storm in extra-time in their Round 1 clash, but will be keen to bounce back against the Sharks this weekend. However, Moses hit back at criticism over his extended contract talks earlier this week and said his management was dealing with the negotiations.

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The Eels have reportedly offered Moses $1.25 million over four years, but the playmaker is yet to accept. Other teams are also reportedly interested in the halfback. And the negotiations have once again been put to Arthur who attempted to quell the notion the circus was draining on the squad.

“I don’t have any updates, but what I know in my experience over the last three or four years we have had to go through a bit of this and we have had to learn to be patient with it,” Arthur said.

“It is not personal. I think with most of these situations, it doesn’t always go the way you want it to, but with most of these situations when there is a genuine desire from the player that he wants to stay and a genuine desire from the club to keep the player, things eventually get sorted out. There is a bit of toing and froing. We want him to stay and I think Mitchell wants to stay and it will work itself out.”

While Arthur remains coy about the negotiations, NRL 360 reporter Michael Hooper has questioned how long the Eels will put up with the negotiations. Speaking on Wednesday night, Hooper claimed the Eels hierarchy could be frustrated with the ordeal surrounding Moses.

“I think at the Eels there is starting to be a bit of ill will and some frustration creeping into the negotiation process,” Hooper said on Fox Sports. "Not so much at Mitchell Moses directly, but certainly the puppet master player agent, his cousin Isaac Moses, who is handling the negotiations behind the scenes.

“I think there is a level of frustration because the money that has been put on the table when you crunch the numbers it works out as being more than a tenth of Parramatta’s salary cap for next year. Every team has got $11.5 million to spend. They have offered Mitchell about $1.25 million.

“That’s a big chunk of your cap and you need to be locked away in terms of what decisions you can make when you are talking about that amount of money. There are some Eels powerbrokers that are getting quite annoyed with how long it is taking.”

Eels face extraordinary run to start 2023 NRL season

Arthur also addressed the Eels' tough run to start their campaign in 2023. The Eels lost a thrilling extra-time game against the Storm on Thursday last week and it doesn't get any easier with Cronulla, Manly, Penrith and the Sydney Roosters lining-up as their next opponents.

Mitchell Moses reacts during an NRL match.
Mitchell Moses (pictured middle) and the Eels face a tough start to the 2023 season. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) (Cameron Spencer via Getty Images)

In addition, three of the Eels' next four opponents will have the advantage of meeting Parramatta immediately after the bye. However, Arthur is looking at the run against the NRL heavyweights as an opportunity for the 2022 finalists to prove themselves in the new season.

"We knew coming through pre-season that we did have some really good teams to play against early but I feel like that helps you with your preparation," Arthur said. "I don't think you can let yourself down with taking any team too lightly.

"That's what we're focused on around our attitude, it doesn't matter who we play or what we think they've got on paper, every team on their day when they turn up is a good football team and can beat you. Yes, we've got some tough games, but every game is tough in the NRL."

with AAP

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