There are growing concerns coming out of Parramatta that star halfback Mitchell Moses is unlikely to extend his stay at the Eels beyond 2023, despite having a player option in his favour.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Eels have submitted a ‘significant' four-year package to their star playmaker, but it's widely believed that both the Canterbury Bulldogs and his former team Wests Tigers have enough resources at their disposal to dwarf the Eels' bid.
The Eels are currently under significant pressure on the contract front, with both Moses and partner Dylan Brown off-contract at the same time. Given their grand final appearance and standing in the game, it's unlikely the club will be able to keep both.
The already-stressful situation has been further complicated by the ongoing CBA negotiations, with a salary cap figure for 2023 yet to be determined and subsequently hampering teams' ability to formulate deals.
The player option in Moses' contract means he doesn't have to advise the club about his plans until mid-way through next season, although it's believed he would want to resolve the matter of his future promptly amid so much reported interest.
Moses has given the Eels no indication that he wants to leave, but there are factors aiding both of the clubs reportedly leading the race for his signature.
The Bulldogs have 13 players off-contract at the end of 2023, indicating they'll have considerable financial clout to throw into talks. Reed Mahoney, who played with Moses at the Eels, is also on board.
Meanwhile the Tigers are Moses' original club, and though his departure was somewhat contentious, the appeal of reuniting with Luke Brooks, working under Benji Marshall and also reuniting with recently departed Eel Isaiah Papali'i again may all prove enticing enough.
A clear sign of how important the Eels deem these negotiations, the Telegraph reports that the bulk of dialogue is being led by club chairman Sean McElduff.
Dylan Brown, meanwhile, is firmly in the crosshairs of the Dolphins, who have plenty of capital at their disposal as they continue to pursue a headline half option.