Penrith could be looking to steal off-contract Hayne.
The Penrith Panthers have money to spend after missing out on snaring Johnathan Thurston from the North Queensland Cowboys, who signed the smiling star for a $5m contract over 4 years.
Jarryd Hayne is out of contract with the Parramatta Eels at the end of the year and could become the Panthers next big money target according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Sydney-based club reportedly offered Thurston even more money than the Cowboys to lure him away from Townsville, before being turned down, which is an indication of the budget Penrith would have to spend.
Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart is expecting the Panthers to come looking for his star fullback and believes Penrith would be silly not to.
“They’d be silly if they didn’t come after him. That’s business,” Stuart said.
“We all want the best players. But I’m telling you we won’t be losing Jarryd Hayne.”
The Jarryd ‘Hayne Plane’ was in full action for the Parramatta Eels in the first round of the NRL, scoring a hat-trick of tries against the New Zealand Warriors. The star fullback has been enjoying his new role as co-captain but said his new responsibility would not influence his contract decisions.
Hayne’s manager Wayne Beavis is meeting with Parramatta this week for ‘ongoing negotiations’ with the club concerning Hayne’s contract for the future.
Asked if Penrith was one of the clubs interested in his star client, Beavis said: “No, I can’t (say), sorry. We always deal with an incumbent club first. There is some outside interest but that is not yet tested.