BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 15: Anthony Milford of the Broncos pushes away from the defence during the NRL Semi Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium on September 15, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett has again endorsed out-of-favour Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford, suggesting the Rabbitohs should pursue the Samoan international's services.

While Bennett will depart the Redfern club at season's end in handing the coaching reigns over to Jason Demetriou, the supercoach believes there is a place at the burrow for Milford following the imminent departure of Dane Gagai.

A deal between the Maroons flyer and Newcastle looks to be sealed, with the Bunnies veteran telling teammates of his decision to leave the club at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.

“He’s just told the team on the team bus now on our way home from training that he’s going to Newcastle,” Bennett said, per The Sydney Morning Herald

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10: Adam Reynolds and Dane Gagai of the Rabbitohs look up at the replay screen during the round one NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Optus Stadium on March 10, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

“South Sydney couldn’t offer him a long-term contract so we knew he was on the move.

"He went to Newcastle in 2012, we actually took him down there when the Broncos didn’t want him. So he’s spent a lot of his career at Newcastle and he’s got family there and I think he’s pretty happy about going back.”

Gagai's departure - added to skipper Adam Reynolds' impending move to the Brisbane and forward Jaydn Su'A's switch to the Dragons - is sure to open up substantial salary space should Souths need to hit the open market.

With Reynolds heading for Red Hill from 2022 and the future of Benji Marshall uncertain, holes have quickly opened up in the halves for Demetriou.

While Bennett won't be there to make a final call, the 71-year-old has backed Milford as an ideal signing for the Rabbitohs at the right price.

“That’s a decision that is not on my watch now but up to the people staying and the rest of the club," Bennett said.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Anthony Milford of the Broncos looks dejected during the round two NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium on March 19, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

“But I wouldn’t have my hesitation if the market value was there and could benefit South Sydney which I believe it would. It’s just the price they can pay and what they can do.”

Bennett's comments aren't the first time he's backed the signing of the unwanted Broncos half, telling News Corp earlier this month that Milford would be on his list of targets would he be coaching next season.

“If I was coaching next year and I had a chance to sign Anthony Milford, I would take him, that’s the best reference I can give to any NRL club," Bennett said.

“In a good system where he is appreciated for what he brings, Anthony Milford is a wonderful player, there is no doubt about that.

“But he needs to find a home that can benefit from what he brings and that club has to have a stable environment."

The Rabbitohs are understood to be in contention to sign Milford for next season, while the Titans have also been linked to the 27-year-old.

Parramatta were understood to be keeping tabs on the two-time Maroons representative, with coach brad Arthur since withdrawing his club's name from the race.

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