A Broncos discard looks set to be thrown a career lifeline in Sydney, while a Cowboys veteran is on the cusp of re-signing.
The Roosters are set to lock up Sam Walker on a multimillion-dollar extension with the playmaker shutting down a potential switch to the Broncos.
And the Dragons are closing in on a deal to lock up skipper Ben Hunt to an extension.
The Dragons have rejected young fullback Tyrell Sloan’s release request in a blow to the Dolphins’ rumoured bid to sign him.
Meanwhile, Andrew Johns has backed the Knights to get the best out of Luke Brooks.
Read on for all the latest NRL Transfer Whispers.
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BRONCO LANDS DEAL IN SYDNEY
The Roosters are reportedly set to throw former Broncos hooker Jake Turpin a career lifeline.
Turpin fell behind hookers Cory Paix and Billy Walters in Brisbane this season and would have struggled for minutes in 2023.
Turpin made his NRL debut at the Broncos in 2018 and made 60 appearances for the club, including 15 this season..
The Roosters are keen on signing Turpin to back-up to Brandon Smith who will join the club next month from the Storm, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Sam Verrills had no interest in being a back-up and has left the Tricolour for the Titans.
The Roosters are light on hookers on their depth chart and would sign Turpin on close to minimum wage.
COWBOYS EXTEND VETERAN
North Queensland are reportedly set to extend Jordan McLean which could create one final chance to realise his State of Origin dream.
McLean returned to career-best form in the first half of this season and was rewarded with a Blues call up, before suffering a heartbreaking leg injury just days before the game.
The 30-year-old was a big-name signing when he joined the Cowboys in 2018 but then endured a lean patch of form.
McLean has played eight games for the Kangaroos in 2017-18 and joined the Cowboys on massive deal worth around $750,000 per season.
There is minimal interest for the prop from rival clubs but North Queensland coach Todd Payten is keen to re-sign him, albeit on a major pay cut.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Payen is keen on McLean due to his re-found form and leadership qualities.
WALKER SET TO INK MULTIMILLION ROOSTERS EXTENSION
Roosters halfback Sam Walker is closing in on a multimillion-dollar extension with the Tricolours closing the door on a potential return to the Broncos.
The Daily Telegraph reported Walker shut down a potential switch to the Broncos with the talented playmaker set to ink an multimillion-dollar extension to remain with the Roosters long-term.
“That (signing a new deal with the Roosters) is definitely the goal for me. I want to stay at the club,” Walker told The Daily Telegraph.
“I let my manager and old man (former Broncos playmaker Ben Walker) look after that sort of stuff, but I am really keen on building on these last two years and seeing where we can go with the Roosters.
“At the moment my focus is on the Prime Minister’s game but over the coming weeks hopefully I’ll get that all sorted.”
Walker’s inclusion in Sunday’s PM’s XIII squad marks his second representative honour after making Billy Slater’s Queensland’s extended Origin squad.
“I am really looking forward to the week in camp firstly. Wearing the Australian jersey is something I looked forward to as a kid,” Walker said.
“This year I got the call-up to the Origin squad for the last game. Now to get this call-up for Australia, it has all happened so quickly.”
The 20-year-old has scored 15 tries and 292 points for the Roosters since his debut in 2021.
HUNT AND DRAGONS $100K APART
The Dragons and their best player Ben Hunt are “about $100,000” apart from getting an extension done.
Hunt has one year to run on his monster $1.2 million per season contract and will hit the open market for the 2024 season if the parties cannot agree on an extension by November 1.
“They’re getting close to a two-year extension but they’re not there yet, it’s a monetary thing,” Michael Carayannis said on NRL 360.
“I think they’re about $100,000 off where Ben Hunt wants to be. The question is will Ben Hunt be a million-dollar player in three years time?
“The Dragons are sitting around that $850,000 mark, depending on where the cap is going to be… and it’s got to be above $900,000 to get the deal done.”
Braith Anasta believes that asking price is going to become a serious road bloke.
“That is an issue, he’s had a great year but to say he’s going to produce that same year for the next three years, I highly doubt it at his age,” Anasta said.
“That’s the issue for the Dragons and I think they’re reluctant to budge on that offer at the moment,” Carayannis responded.
Hunt had been linked to the Bulldogs and Titans, but now looks set to end his career at the Dragons with the two year extension to take him through until 2025 when he will be 35.
That will mean Hunt has played eight seasons for the Dragons after switching from the Broncos in 2018.
Hunt has scored 72 tries in 290 games for the Broncos and Dragons since his debut in 2009 and has played 14 Origins for the Maroons and seven Tests for the Kangaroos.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported this week that Hunt believes an extension with the Dragons is getting closer after talks with the club on Thursday.
“I actually had a meeting with my manager [on Thursday] and I feel like we’re getting pretty close to sorting something out with the Dragons,” Hunt told The Herald.
“That’s pretty exciting. It’s something I want to get sorted out.
“I believe in the way the club’s going, the young guys we’ve got coming through and the direction the recruitment guys are going in.
“Myself and my wife, we’re all from Queensland and we’re going to get back up here one day, but as far as footy goes I’m just not too sure about that.
“I wouldn’t say it’s completely settled, but [the Dragons extension] is heading in the right direction.”
DRAGONS DENY DISGRUNTLED YOUNG GUN RELEASE
The Dragons have reportedly denied young fullback Tyrell Sloan an early release from his contract after he put in a request to the club.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Dragons officially rejected Sloan’s request to be released from the remainder of his contract in a bid to join the Dolphins.
The 20-year-old is signed to the Dragons until the end of the 2024 season, but requested a release after playing just eight games in 2022 and rarely in his preferred fullback position.
Sloan burst onto the NRL scene in 2021 with six tries in his first five NRL games and was tipped for big things in 2022.
However, Sloan scored just one try in eight games this season with coach Anthony Griffin favouring Cody Ramsey and Moses Mbye in the No.1 role.
Sloan played limited minutes off the bench when he was recalled to first grade in Round 20 and 21 after a long period out of the team, before he was shifted to the wing for the final two games of the year.
His inability to crack first grade, despite the Dragons failing to play finals sparked rumours of a rift with coach Griffin.
Griffin also failed to give opportunities to fellow young gun Jayden Sullivan, who has been linked with a move to the Bulldogs.
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JOHNS BACKS KNIGHTS TO MAKE BROOKS A STAR
Knights assistant coach Andrew Johns believes the Knights can help Tigers halfback Luke Brooks reach his potential in rugby league.
The Knights are in desperate need of a halfback after failing to fill the void left by Mitchell Pearce’s departure having reportedly twice missed on luring Brooks to the Hunter last off-season.
Brooks is signed to the Tigers for 2023 on a deal worth north of $1 million and is reportedly in talks over an extension at a reduced price tag.
However, the Knights haven’t given up hope in luring their prime No.7 target to Newcastle either for 2023 or 2024 and beyond.
Speaking on Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and the Eighth, Johns believes the Knights need a circuit-breaker signing to build the club around and while Brooks is not that player yet, he backed Newcastle to get him up to that level.
“If you have a look at clubs over the years, Souths were struggling – they signed Sam (Burgess),” Johns said.
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“Manly was struggling – they signed Ben Kennedy back in the day. But you need that real top-line player.
“If you have a look at Souths, they brought in Sam Burgess and then they brought in Greg Inglis. Sometimes you need that player in your club to turn things around.”
Johns was challenged that Brooks is not in the class of Burgess or Inglis, but was adamant the Knights can get the best out of him.
“I think we can get him there,” Johns said.
“I think he hasn’t reached his potential. We’ve seen signs consistently and he’s at that stage of his career, he’s 27.
“I think strip it back and make it simpler. I think he’s at his best when he’s on the advantage line, getting the ball – not getting the ball off front rowers – he is getting the quality ball and going at the defence.”
Brooks has scored 42 tries in 189 games for the Tigers since his NRL debut in 2013.