SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 13: Gareth Widdop of the Dragons looks on during the round 10 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Former Melbourne and St George Illawarra star Gareth Widdop is looking for a return to the NRL, and the playmaker has looked to reduce his asking price significantly in order to obtain a move, per The Daily Telegraph.

Widdop, 31, currently has two-years remaining on his deal in the English Super League with Warrington which will see him earn over $800,000-a-season, but could take a pay cut to be closer to his family, which has had a significant effect on his wellbeing.

It's understood that Widdop initially asked for a contract of around $550,000 to $600,000 a season, but with little interest from NRL club's due to salary cap constraints as a result of the COVID pandemic, that price could come down as low as $300,000, making him a potential bargain buy.

Widdop had been offered to the Sharks, Cowboys, Dragons and Roosters, but all knocked back potential deals for salary cap reasons.

But with a potential price cut, it's believed club's could work around their salary caps to bring in the former star.

One agent told the The Telegraph that the money Widdop is worth is the problem for club's at the moment.

“No club has any money, that’s the problem. It’s not Gareth’s true value but Gareth would probably max-out at $300,000 now. His true value is around $600,000 to $700,000. It would be a miracle if any club had $500,000 to spare," they said.

Should Widdop not be able to find a potential suitor in the NRL, he may be forced to go back to Warrington for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Widdop currently hasn't requested a release from Warrington, but owner Simon Moran has been made aware of Widdop’s desire to live back in Australia.

The Englishman is currently in quarantine in Sydney and is working hard to keep fit.

“Gareth is trying to keep fit in quarantine. I have organised him an exercise bike and dumb bells.” said Widdop’s manager, Paul Sutton, from SFX.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Surely dragons can afford him. They’ve lost Aitken, Host, Saab, Graham and probably others and only bought Bird. They are full of it saying they can’t afford him.

  2. They can definitely afford him, but it seems now they are smart enough to realise that bringing him back on board would mean the departure of several promising young halves.

  3. The Dragons have lost way less players than other clubs . You don’t know how much money it has cost the Dragons to upgrade other players. Plus buy those who they have already.
    Without Naden in the centres . Widdop at a bargain price may enjoy playing in the Panthers centres? Alongside Crichton. He & May could play halves , if other players are missing.
    That may be the missing link , to getting the Panthers a premiership win. If their forwards are good enough. They can also get rid of Mansour & Whare, to save even more money.

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