PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Joseph Suaalii of the Roosters looks dejected after the Roosters were defeated by the Pamthers during the round 15 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Sydney Roosters at Panthers Stadium, on June 18, 2021, in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

New details have emerged surrounding the contract saga that saw the Sydney Roosters poach emerging phenom Joesph Suaalii from their bitter enemies the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The race for Suaalii's signature was heavily publicised back in 2020, but according to Fox Sports, the decision to leave Redfern for Bondi was about more than just coin for the teenage sensation.

Souths teenage prodigy Joseph Suaalii (Image: WWOS)

The Rabbitohs had tabled a four-year deal for Suaallii, starting in 2021 with a net worth of $2.55 million.

However, Suaalii's South Sydney stay was not to be, after head coach Wayne Bennett refused to accept a get-out contract clause stipulating that Suaalii was free to go to the market on every year of the deal if he saw fit, so long as the club was informed before Round 11.

Bennett believed the clause was contrary to the team-first approach he was trying to instil at the Rabbitohs.

This was seemingly the final nail in the coffin for those hoping to see the South Sydney junior run out in the NRL in red and green.

That's when Suaalii's management started knocking on the door of Nick Politis and the Roosters, who promptly signed him up on a deal worth $1.92 million over 4 years, keeping the contested clause in play.

When news of the initial talks surrounding Suaalii and multi-million dollar deals hit the public, some sceptics criticised the club's willingness to pay so much for a teenager who had never laced a boot in first grade.

However, with Suaalii now 23 games and 16 tries into his NRL journey at the Roosters and looking on track to be the player most hoped he would be, you have to wonder how the South Sydney club and supporters feel about the one that got away.