MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: John Bateman of Wigan Warriors celebrates victory following the BetFred Super League Grand Final between Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors at Old Trafford on October 13, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The Wests Tigers are reportedly in the closing stages of securing the services of former Canberra Raider and current Wigan Warriors star John Bateman on a possible three-year deal.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the deal is nearly done, with the 29-year-old set to join fellow new recruits Api Koroisau and Isaiah Papali'i with the hope of finally returning the Concord club to the NRL finals after years of perpetual disappointment.

The news also comes amid reports the Tigers are close to securing the services of either David Klemmer or Tyson Frizell from Newcastle, though it's still uncertain if the Knights could convince the club to include Luke Brooks in any potential agreement.

Though the deal for Klemmer was originally supposed to be a swap, it's now believed that the hulking prop could move away from the Steel City without an equivalent arrival. While the Knights are also ‘shopping around' Frizell, it's not known if any possible deal for the dynamic back-rower would include a move the other way.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 14: John Bateman of the Raiders scores a try during the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park on September 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

With two years still left on his contract at Wigan, the Tigers are expected to pay a hefty fee to the English club – reported to be in the vicinity of $250,000. That sum is paid directly between clubs and not factored into salary cap calculations.

The 29-year-old returns to the NRL after he was granted an early release from his contract in Canberra.

Though his time in the nation's capital was wound down by injuries, he was essential to the team's 2019 Grand Final appearance and claimed the Dally M award for Second Rower of the Year in the same season.


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