While the Cameron Munster contract saga seems destined to drag on for as long as possible, talks between the St George Illawarra Dragons and star playmaker Ben Hunt look destined to be wrapped up in the near future, with the club reportedly securing the star halfback on a $1.8 million contract extension.
According to News Corp Hunt has been locked in on a two-year extension worth a reported $900,000 per season – a notable increase on the Dragons' initial retention offer which was said to be worth $750,000 per season plus a car.
The news that Hunt had turned down the Dragons' initial offer was reported just hours before the Dally M Medal ceremony, where the No.7 finished third after holding an early lead - a valuable reminder of the talent he can bring to the joint-venture.
Hunt has been clear in his desire to remain at the club provided a deal could be struck, although it's not known if any caveats will be included that aid the job security of coach Anthony Griffin, as had been suggested earlier in the negotiation process.
With the extension now almost finalised, it's believed Hunt will play out the remainder of his NRL career in the Red V.
While the deal signifies a downgrade on his current $1.1 million salary in 2022, Hunt is said to be prepared to accept a pay cut given his proximity to retirement – though it's been suggested a clause may be included to ensure any increase in the salary cap sees a proportionate rise in his salary.
“We're getting close. We are very close,” Hunt told the Telegraph at the Dally M awards.
“Both parties want to get (a deal) sorted out before the World Cup. I'm sure we'll get it done this week.
“It's just the way contracts go. I understand they're trying to do the best by the club and I'm trying to do the best by myself.
“I'm still sure we can work it out.”