English prop Luke Thompson has reportedly been taken off the open market by the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Speculation surrounding the future of the prop had been rampant during the second half of the 2021 season, with other clubs rumoured to be interested in his services.
In addition to that, a number of high-profile signings, including Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Dufty, Matt Burton, Paul Vaughan and Tevita Pangai Junior have left the Bulldogs needing to shake some of their salary cap.
Thompson, who is rumoured to be on roughly $850,000 per season, was seen as one of the candidates to leave the club. Another was Adam Elliott, who has since departed over an off-field incident.
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The Bulldogs were rumoured to be happy to let Thompson go if they didn't need to pay any of his salary, however, according to a Daily Telegraph report, no other club in the NRL was happy to pick up his enormous pay packet.
That is despite Thompson's consistently good form and big minutes in a badly struggling Bulldogs outfit, who finished the season dead last with just three wins from 24 games.
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One club coach who asked not to be named told the publication they were looking at Thompson.
“We were having a look at him,” the coach reportedly told the publication.
“But we were told he is no longer on the market. I don’t think it was going to work out for them (the Bulldogs) so he is staying.”
It's understood Thompson had previously been told he was free to negotiate with other clubs.
His current deal expires at the end of 2023, meaning he will be formally able to negotiate with other clubs from November 1, 2022, should the Bulldogs fail to extend his contract by that date.