Wandering rugby league/union star could have new club very soon.
Former Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall is set to make a decision on his footballing future by the end of the week with Cronulla and St George Illawarra leading the charge for his signature.
After having given up on his dream of making it big in rugby union, after leaving the NRL and signing with the Auckland Blues in Super 15, Marshall has become hot property in Australia once again.
However, only the Sharks and Dragons have emerged a s serious contenders for the New Zealand star, with fanatix understand the team in red and white are at the front of the line to bag Benji.
Marshall was also approached by the Melbourne Storm, and while the idea of playing alongside Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk at AAMI Park did have some merits, the Storm’s deal was only for the remainder of current season.
Both the Sharks and Dragons have tabled two-and-a-half year deals, with the Sharks offering slightly more money over that term.
Both deals have upsides in terms of who Marshall will be surrounding himself with.
With former Tigers teammates Andrew Fifita, Chris Heighington, Beau Ryan, Bryce Gibbs and Blake Ayshford at Cronulla, along with ex-chief executive Steve Noyce, who was in charge of the joint venture when Marshall began his career in 2003, the Sharks have been favourites to sign him.
However, the Dragons also hold appeal and his signing would complete an all-star backline that includes England five-eighth Gareth Widdop, New Zealand Test backs Jason Nightingale and Gerard Beale, Australian winger Brett Morris, NSW Origin fullback Josh Dugan and Indigenous All Stars centre Dylan Farrell.
The Tigers are seeking compensation from whichever club signs Marshall as there was a clause in his deed of release at the end of last season in which he agreed not to play for anyone else in the NRL before 2016.
Salford and Catalans Dragons also expressed interest in Marshall but he did not want to play in Super League.