SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 06: Martin Taupau of the Manly Sea Eagles runs the ball during the round four NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Lottoland on April 06, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

The Parramatta Eels are eager to secure the services of Manly prop Martin Taupau, so much so that they’re willing to stand him down from next week’s clash against the Sea Eagles if they can secure their target before August 1.

Taupau originally requested a release from Manly last week as he looks to secure his playing future. He is currently without a contract for next year, which has upped his urgency in attempting to secure a deal at Parramatta.

Taupau’s request was originally denied by Manly, who have their own finals aspirations to consider - and the deal is no doubt being affected by the fact the Eels are ahead of the Sea Eagles in the race for remaining finals places.

The Sea Eagles are also under a large amount of injury pressure, with the likes of Sean Keppie, Ben Trbojevic, Karl Lawton and Morgan Boyle all unavailable at this point in time.

Meanwhile, the Eels are preparing to farewell Marata Niukore, Isaiah Papali’i, Reed Mahoney, Ray Stone and Orgeon Kaufusi at the conclusion of the 2022 season – emphasising the value that Taupau would add to their roster despite his age.

Parramatta are reported to be one of the only clubs with enough cap room lift to bring in a high-profile signing. Brad Arthur was asked about the club’s interest – and the help Taupau would give the club’s forward rotation – following their victory over Penrith on Friday night.

“He would be handy for us, but that’s not our call. That’s Manly’s call,” Arthur said.

“I think he could definitely help (with forward rotation), but I’ve got no problem with our interchange. We’ve got two class front-rowers who get paid a lot of money. I need them on the field for as long as possible.”

Parramatta and Manly will face off next Friday, August 5th at 4 Pines Park. Kick-off is at 7.55PM (AEST).