Broncos star Tevita Pangai Jr has reportedly been shopping himself to rival clubs in a bid to depart the Broncos, according to multiple reports.
The Tongan international reportedly made contact with several clubs, including influential figures at the Roosters.
However, after the news broke, Pangai came out and denied the the rumours, claiming he had spoken to Roosters chairman Nick Politis – but the conversation was a friendly one.
Pangai took to Instagram to declare his conversation with the ‘The Godfather’ was only him giving some tough feedback about Politis’ decision to sell his share of the Broncos.
“Phone has started blowing up. To clear things up I met Nick Politis a couple of years ago and we have stayed in touch,” Pangai wrote.
“He is a good man and I was giving it to him about selling his Broncos shares, nothing more.”
The rumours surface just 12 months after Pangai signed with the Broncos on a three-year deal reportedly worth more than $2 million.
The unwanted attention appears not long after superstar forward David Fifita joined the Titans on a three-year deal. The timing of the rumours surrounding Pangai could not come at a worst time, with the club going through its worst ever season on the field.
News of Pangai calling rival clubs first broke on NRL 360, where Fox League’s James Hooper revealed Pangai had made contact with rivals clubs despite being under contract for another two years.
“It came up that Tevita Pangai has been picking up the phone personally and ringing a number of figures in the game and essentially shopping himself around to find a different club for next season,” Hooper said.
“I must say I found it a bizarre move, but when I checked it, it’s emerged that he has telephoned the Roosters. Now the Roosters were interested in signing Tevita (12 months ago). He actually went to Trent Robinson’s house and met with Trent last year. That didn’t come to fruition. He signed a three-year extension with the Broncos. So he’s there until the end of 2022. But he’s clearly unhappy.
“He signed at Brisbane to play under Wayne Bennett. There’s a number of players at the club who have since been moved on, who he was clearly close to. And I don’t think he’s happy with the direction that the club is heading in.”
NRL 360 host and frontrunner to be the Broncos’ next CEO Ben Ikin reported it was ‘frightening’ that both Fiftia and Pangai could leave the club.
“What frightens me is if Tevita Pangai wants out, the main reason I’m thinking that they could not keep David Fifita is that they signed Pangai to big money,” he said.
“It surprised everybody that they left Fifita to the last given they thought he has the most upside,” Kent said.
“Pangai is the most similar, they signed him, now there’s no money left for Fifita.
“If they’ve put all their emphasis on Pangai to hear that Fifita and now he wants to go as well.
“That’s a disaster for the Broncos. It confirms everything that goes on.
“It confirms everything that we’re all hearing, the Broncos sit up there in denial and say that everybody seems to have some agenda against the club and that everyone is talking about things that they don’t know about because they’re not in on the inside and they don’t know what we do at the club.
“The fact is that Pangai is on the phone to other clubs, other clubs on the quiet are confirming it. What’s that say?”
Pangai has been named to start for the Broncos in their Friday night grudge match with former coach Wayne Bennett’s South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.