The Brisbane Broncos are facing a multimillion-dollar battle to retain explosive young forward Tevita Pangai Jnr.
The Courier-Mail revealed Pangai Jnr has become the most sought-after player of the NRL finals, with up to five NRL clubs registering interest in the forward.
The Souths Newcastle junior has met with the Newcastle Knights and has received offers from other Sydney clubs for three or four season contracts, worth up to $800,000 per season.
There will be pressure on the Broncos to fit Pangai into the salary cap, as they have already spent millions on re-signing Matt Gillett, Jamayne Isaako, Payne Haas, David Fifita and Jaydn Su’a.
They have also yet to re-sign winger Corey Oates.
Broncos skipper Darius Boyd has urged club bosses to retain the Pangai Jnr, saying the Tonga international has the potential to surpass 2016 Dally M Medallist Jason Taumalolo.
“He can be a Jason Taumalolo in his own right,” Boyd told the Courier-Mail.
“He can be as destructive, if not better, than Taumalolo.
“The sky is the limit for Tevita, he has a great work ethic and football brain.
“I’ve been to other clubs and I know how professional the Broncos are, but it’s up to Tevita to decide what he wants to do.
“I just really hope the Broncos can find a way to keep him.”
The Broncos are hoping Pangai Jnr’s loyalty to coach Wayne Bennett will be a key factor in him staying at Red Hill.
Bennett is credited with developing the young forward, after he was told by Canberra coach Ricky Stewart he wasn’t cut out for first grade football.
Bennett has yet to re-sign with the Broncos, but in an interview with Channel 7 News Brisbane, Pangai Jnr said he had verbally committed to the Broncos, regardless of whether Bennett remains at the club.
Pangai Jnr made his NRL debut with the Broncos in 2016 and has since played three test for Tonga.