The amount Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins are willing to pay Cameron Munster has risen again, with the club reportedly set to offer the star up to $1.3 million per season to shift north from the start of the 2024 season.
While the Storm - and Munster himself - have made it clear that he won't be going anywhere for the 2023 season, which is the final year of his current contract in the Victorian capital, he is yet to sign beyond the end of next season.
The Storm have made it clear they want to keep Munster beyond the end of 2023, and are desperate to get a deal done before November 1 when he can formally begin to negotiate and receive offers from other clubs.
Melbourne have already lodged complaints with the NRL over the Dolphins speaking to Munster before November 1 - something that is allowed under the current rules, with the complaints slapped away quickly.
According to The Courier Mail though, the Dolphins still believe they will have Munster at the club in 2024, potentially on as much as $1.3 million per year.
The club have signed Sean O'Sullivan and Anthony Milford to form their halves combination for 2023, with Milford in impressive form at the struggling Newcastle Knights, and O'Sullivan playing some excellent football with limited opportunities behind Nathan Cleary at the Penrith Panthers this season.
Both players will remain at the club in 2024 along with the potential arrival of Milford, creating an intriguing set of circumstances around their ultimate recruitment strategy and the long-term halves pairing.
Despite that, former New Zealand Warriors' coach Tony Kemp told SEN Radio New Zealand that he is unsure if Munster would move north.
“They’re apparently offering him $1.3 million a year to go up to the Dolphins (but) I don’t know if Wayne’s that good to get his man,” Kemp said.
“You’re going to go up there, you’re not going to win anything, not in the first couple of years. Whether Cam Munster wants to do that (I’m not sure).”
Despite that, the Dolphins have constantly held the line that they are on the right recruitment path both privately and publically, with Bennett backing the squad he has been able to build so far, led by a number of experienced forwards after a raid on the Melbourne Storm, and including talented juniors Isaiya Katoa, Harrison Graham and Jack Bostock among others.
The Dolphins enter the competition in 2023.