Speculation surrounding Valentine Holmes’ future has mounted following the star’s return from his post Test-series Cuban holiday.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Holmes will meet with Sharks officials next week, who have tabled a lucrative four-year deal in a bid to lure him away from a return home to Townsville.
“We’ll meet with him next week and I fully understand if he wants to go home,” Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said.
“We have to get on with it and support him. He’s not the first player to go home if that’s what he wants and to be closer to family.
“We love the kid, he’s a fan favourite, he was in our grand final team and team of the half-century.
“In the end, we need to have a good year with him next year, and if he goes, we’ll support him.”
Holmes remains signed to the Sharks for 2019, but the Cowboys are keen for his signature and the one-year-only deal they’ve offered Ben Barba for next season indicates they’ll throw everything at Holmes for 2020 and beyond.
“We could have the next fullback already within our club, so we won’t be jumping at shadows,” Flanagan further said, contemplating a future with or without Holmes.
“We’ve got Will Kennedy who played NSW Cup and in our 20s side, and Luke Polselli played in the winning Jersey Flegg side. My young bloke Kyle can play there, as well as Braidon Trindall, while even Matt Moylan can go back to fullback. We’ll keep our fingers crossed Val is still here.’
“I’m happy with where the club is at the moment.”