Gould reveals Titans’ desperate play for rep star

Scott Bailey

Penrith NRL general manager Phil Gould claims Gold Coast offered Penrith a swap for James Maloney that would have allowed Tyrone Peachey to stay at the Panthers.

Peachey's contract with the Titans made headlines on Wednesday when he indicated he was considering backflipping on his three-year deal, before later backing out of the comments.

But Penrith's general manager Gould revealed on Thursday they had knocked back an approach only recently from the Titans, who were interested in securing Maloney once they heard of Peachey's hesitation.

"The Gold Coast came back some months later recently and said we're prepared to do a trade," Gould told the Six Tackles with Gus podcast.

"They said we wouldn't mind having James Maloney at the Gold Coast, you can keep Tyrone Peachey and we'll take James Maloney because we'd like a player of his experience.

"And I said James Maloney's not for sale."

Gould said he had spoken to Maloney's management about the offer, but by that point had already knocked the Titans back given Maloney's importance at the club.

The Titans apparently attempted to swap Tyrone Peachey for James Maloney. Pic: Getty

The NSW Origin five-eighth is signed with the club until the end of 2020, and has previously indicated this will likely be the last deal of his career.

It's also understood the Panthers were reluctant to offer Peachey the money he could command elsewhere, given he's not seen as a starting centre or half when the side is at full strength.

They are adamant they are not behind Peachey's potential preference to stay in Sydney, given they offloaded him due to salary cap pressure and cannot fit him into next year's roster.

Instead, Gould said he believed Peachey had been approached by another Sydney club after signing with the Titans in March, but expected him to honour his Gold Coast deal.

"He got an approach from another Sydney club shortly after, saying if you ever thought about staying in Sydney we never got around to talking to you before you signed that Gold Coast deal," Gould said.

"To my knowledge he is always going to honour this Gold Coast deal."

The Titans are steadfast in their opinion they won't be granting the NSW State of Origin utility a release and expect him to front for pre-season training in November.

Comment is being sought from the Titans.