Bulldogs to be told soon their star fullback wants to move back to Queensland.
Canterbury Bulldogs superstar Ben Barba has officially asked the club for a release from his contract so he may join his family in Brisbane next season.
With two years left to run on his deal the Bulldogs have not given any indication if they will honour Barba’s request on passionate grounds.
Rumors have swirled for weeks about the 24-year-old wanting to move back to his home state, hastening the Bulldogs desire to try and line up a replacement custodian.
Barba’s agent Gavin Orr said the club, to date, had attempted to meet his client halfway on a plan that could leave them significantly weaker for season 2014.
“They’ve been good, they’re working through it with us,” Orr said.
“They’re asking where are Ben and his (ex) partner, as far as where is she moving. They’re going through that process with him and I think they’re looking around at other (player) options.
“It’s going back and forth between us and the club at the moment. We’ve asked for a release and now we’re sitting back and waiting for everything to work itself out.”
Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle said the club will continue to talk to Barba to find a solution that best suits all parties.
“These things are very delicate and you need to work through them,” she said.
“Unhappy players aren’t a great scenario. But at the end of the day, players also sign contracts and have to think about the long-term implications about making those decisions.”
The Bulldogs have been linked with Josh Dugan and Israel Folau, with the pair, on face value, offering excellent cover for Barba if he was to leave and join the Broncos.
However, Dugan has re-signed with the Dragons for another four years and Folau is still heavily linked with staying with the Australian Rugby Union, after hiss excellent form with the NSW Waratahs and Wallabies.