They’ve already taken Matt Burton, Viliame Kikau is on the way and Cameron Ciraldo is expected to be announced at any time – but the Bulldogs’ raid of the Penrith Panthers ranks isn’t over yet, with suggestions the club has another high-profile Panther in their sights.
Fox Sports reports that the Canterbury club have set their sights on Panthers five-eighth Jaeman Salmon, who has been in the headlines all week following Ricky Stuart's post-game comments about him.
It’s reported that Salmon may be enticed by the allegedly-impending Ciraldo announcement, with the Panthers assistant working very closely with the versatile utility over the past two seasons.
With a number of prolific players coming off contract, it’s believed the Panthers may have to move some players on to ensure they have the room to make competitive offers for rep stars like Brian To’o to convince them to stay at the foot of the mountains.
Salmon has been invaluable to the Panthers this year, playing every game off the bench until his call-up to the first team following Nathan Cleary’s suspension, partnering well with Sean O’Sullivan.
Though the Ciraldo decision is yet to be announced, a multitude of reports in recent weeks have indicated the deal is all-but done.
“There’s no doubt Phil Gould has been courting Cameron Ciraldo despite the games he’s playing publicly,” Telegraph reporter Michael Carayannis told SEN Radio.
“They’ve had multiple conversations, he’s run him through the salary cap and recruitment strategy long-term.
“They’ve done it very quietly, they’ve done it behind the scenes and those at Belmore have remained tight-lipped as people chase the story.”
Despite photos of Ciraldo having lunch with Bulldogs stakeholder Craig Laundry emerging three weeks ago, the club have given no indication of an announcement in the near future.