SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 19: Josh Jackson of the Bulldogs looks dejected after defeat during the round 6 NRL match between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on April 19, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Canterbury Bulldogs captain Josh Jackson could be forced out of Belmore as a salary cap squeeze reportedly hits the club, with director of football Phil Gould moving to clarify the news.

It's well known that Canterbury have been on a signing spree ahead of both the current season, and the next one.

Matt Burton, Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Dufty, Brent Naden, Paul Vaughan and Tevita Pangai Junior headlined a group of more than ten players added to the blue and white roster this year, while Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney have already been signed for 2023.

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It has led to suggestions the club may need to shed players to be salary cap compliant, with The Daily Telegraph reporting Josh Jackson may be one such player.

An inspirational leader for Canterbury who has stayed with the club during the darkest of times in the past handful of years, the 31-year-old has played more than 200 NRL games for Canterbury.

Others like Corey Allan and Luke Thompson could be on the radar as well, according to the reports, however, Jackson is on big money at Belmore.

Despite that, Gould rubbished the reports, suggesting Canterbury are cap compliant for 2023, although have limited money to sign any more players, which means the final spots in the squad will be taken up by youngsters.

Gould also went into bat for Jackson in a separate tweet, stating that the veteran was so desperate for the club to turn things around, he offered to take a pay cut.

Gould also said James Tamou offered to do the same during his time at the Penrith Panthers.

Under NRL rules, players aren't allowed to take a pay cut after a deal has been signed, with reports emerging last week that Nathan Cleary had a similar question on the move blocked by the NRL.

The rule exists to stop clubs from back ending contracts and then negotiating their way out of it.

Jackson is on contract with Canterbury until the end of 2023, meaning any release would be one he has to agree to before the end of that time, however, it would appear unlikely the veteran middle forward will depart Belmore early given Gould's comments.