NRL Rd 23 - Panthers v Storm
PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04: Jarome Luai of the Panthers runs the ball during the round 23 NRL match between Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm at BlueBet Stadium on August 04, 2023 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Canterbury Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo has confirmed the club have not presented an offer to Jarome Luai.

Luai, who reportedly wanted to make a call on his future by December 8, has reportedly been weighing up offers from the Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers, while the Bulldogs were also monitoring the situation.

The Tigers had blown the Panthers out of the water with the size and financial commitment of their offer - believed to be in the relams of an extra $250,000 per year with an extra two years of job security built in.

While reports now suggest the Panthers have increased their offer, the wildcard was looming as the Bulldogs, who seemingly were ready to put big money in front of Luai.

While Ciraldo told SEN Radio that the Bulldogs would be open to talking with Luai, they have not put an offer in front of the five-eighth and his new management.

“No, an offer hasn't been made to Jarome,” Ciraldo told SEN.

“With Jarome, it's the same as it was with Stephen (Crichton). If and when he (Luai) decides to leave Penrith, of course we'd like to chat with any quality player that's on the open market.

“But I'm not going to poach guys out of Penrith. I hope they all stay together for the rest of their careers.

“But if they do end up leaving, of course I'd like to be in the conversation, but up until now I haven't heard Jarome is leaving Penrith. And we won't do anything up until that point.”

The fact that Stephen Crichton is at the club, and that Ciraldo worked with Luai during his time at the Panthers, could have been seen as an advantage to the Bulldogs and director of football Phil Gould.

The revelation that no offer has been made though, combined with the reported tight timeline of when Luai wants to make a call, means the Bulldogs are seemingly almost no chance of landing Luai, and instead will continue to favour Matt Burton at five-eighth.

Some talk has suggested Burton himself could wind up in the centres during 2024 as the Bulldogs look at one of a number of utilities brought in over the off-season to fill the number six jumper.

Burton has made it clear that he wants to remain in the number six jersey at Belmore.

Luai, meanwhile, has reportedly told those close to him he was leaning towards an exit from the foot of the mountains at the end of the 2024 season which will bring with it a pursuit of a fourth straight premiership.

The five-eighth could link up with another ex-Panther in Apisai Koroisau at Concord, while he would also work with incoming head coach Benji Marshall who has reportedly met with him face to face.