Panthers centre Brent Naden has seen his future thrown upside down over the past 48 hours.
After being dropped to the bench for the club’s Grand Final qualifier, Naden is now seemingly on the outer as the club has reportedly made no effort to secure him on a new deal.
Naden is off contract at the end of 2021 and therefore can negotiate with rivals from November 1, with no indication from Penrith that they see him in their plans for 2022 and beyond.
“It’s interesting, I spoke to his manager, Allan Gainey, last week. Naden is off contract at the end of next season, which puts him in the position in a few weeks time on November 1 to talk to other clubs,” Phil Rothfield told Big Sports Breakfast.
“Allan Gainey has said Penrith have made no approaches yet which is a little bit surprising because most clubs have an initial chat to try and take them off the market before other clubs can make offers.”
The Bulldogs loom as a possible new home with Panthers assistant Trent Barrett set to take over the top job at the Dogs next season and add plenty of firepower to Belmore.
It is understood that Barrett is also keen on Matt Burton.
“I’m wondering if he may be a little bit on the outer there as far as what his long-term future is and Penrith have got that brilliant young football side they have to lock up on long-term contracts.
“They’ve got Matt Burton in a similar situation, the outstanding five-eighth from the bush who can’t get a game of football.
“I’m just wondering if the Panthers don’t move and lock these two up, Trent Barrett as we know is off to the Bulldogs next year and we all know the Bulldogs need more strike power, more strength, more pace, sharpness in the centres so I wouldn’t be surprised if when Barrett finishes up this weekend whether he’d be thinking about a player like Brent Naden if he’s not wanted at the Panthers.”