Parramatta Eels captain Clint Gutherson has confirmed the club are exploring their recruitment options, but suggested any move having anything to do with his future has been "blown out of proportion."
The Sydney Morning Herald dropped a bombshell on Sunday evening, suggesting the club could be targeting an 'x-factor' style player to take over the number one jumper at Parramatta.
While that wouldn't push Gutherson out of the club given he is on contract until at least the end of 2025, it could have had the potential to move the star fullback to the centres.
The 28-year-old has been part of a Parramatta spine who have played three semi-finals and a grand final in the last four years without tasting premiership success.
That hasn't overly worried the board at Parramatta though, who have re-signed Dylan Brown, Gutherson, and reportedly Mitchell Moses, who it's said will re-commit to the club until at least the end of 2028 despite the Wests Tigers putting plenty more on the table in the way of cash for the length of his next deal.
Speaking on Sky Sports Raido's Big Sports Breakfast, Gutherson revealed the team still have three spots available for this year and are simply exploring their options. He admitted he would be happy to play anywhere, but suggested the media had blown the report out of proportion.
“It was just me and Brad,” Gutherson told Sky Sports Radio's show.
“We just had a conversation. We've got three spots top fill in our top 30 and we were just sort of going back and forth with what we need and where we sort of want to go in the next few seasons as well and I just said, ‘Let's just look at everyone'.
“I'm just there to win games. I've always said I want to win and love playing footy and want to win games.
“Obviously this came out in the last 24 hours. I think it's been blown out of proportion, to be honest. I said to Brad I'd be happy to do anything to win games of footy, as would anyone else in the team.
“It's probably been blown out of the water a little bit too much but it's just one of those things that once the media and player managers gets a hold of it, it takes off and I think that's what it's doing now.”
It's believed that Waqa Blake's future at the club is uncertain given he is off-contract at the end of the season, but Gutherson said he won't simply be moved to the centres "just to do it."
“I'd be open to it [moving to the centres] but Brad said to me they're not just going to do it to do it. It's one of those things, they're going to make sure if it does happen it's going to be the right player but from all I've heard there's been no talks with anyone else yet," Gutherson added.
Parramatta picked up their first victory of the season last week against the Penrith Panthers, and will play the Sydney Roosters this Thursday to complete an incredibly difficult first five rounds of the competition.