SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Paul Vaughan of the Dragons is tackled by David Klemmer and Moses Mbye of the Bulldogs during the round 26 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on September 3, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Former St George Illawarra Dragons forward Paul Vaughan is reportedly nearing a deal with the Canterbury Bulldogs, with the one of the key determinants in getting it done being a severe pay-cut.

Vaughan, who was released by the Dragons on Tuesday 6 July following a party held at the players home in which attendees were in violation of NSW Public Health Orders, will look to find a new home under the newly minted Phil Gould-led Bulldogs.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: Commentator Phil Gould during the round 7 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels at McDonald Jones Stadium on April 28, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Vaughan received an eight-game ban and a $50,000 fine for his Covid-19 breach before the Dragons ripped up his contract, leaving him out of pocket around $1 million.

Fox League's James Hooper expects the talented forward to land in Canterbury but only if he understands that type of money won't be waiting for him when he gets there.

“I think the Bulldogs are looking at around the $350,000-$400,000 dollar mark so he’s going to have to take a 50 per cent hair cut on the money he was on but that’s the situation he’s put himself in,” Hooper revealed.

The question begs - could Vaughan hold out and see if he could get more money somewhere else?

Vaughan is carrying around more than just his reputational baggage right now. According to The Daily Telegraph's Paul Kent it's uncertain if the ban he received prior to being let go by the Dragons would count for the rest of this season.

“Someone at the NRL needs to come in now – given the fact he’s been unregistered, he’s not playing – [and] they need to make a clarification.

“Because he was given the eight-week suspension before he was sacked by the Dragons. So that’s now a burden he carries into every negotiation with every club.

“Ironically there’s eight rounds left in the season when he’s got sacked so the NRL could say, you know what, that’s sufficient. I don’t think there’d be a blow-up if they did say that.

“They wouldn’t let anyone sign him for the finals series, that shouldn’t be allowed.

“But if they came out and say, the rest of the season is sufficient – because he has paid an enormous financial price for this.”

While many have suggested that the last thing the Bulldogs need is "another problem", the moves to sign Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Matthew Dufty, Brent Naden and now Tevita Pangai Jr, should provide confidence to fans that a restructure is well and truly underway.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Tevita Pangai Junior of the Broncos during the round two NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium on March 22, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Bulldogs should also feel more comfortable about this move to bring on Vaughan as not only will they likely get him at well below his market value, but the former Dragon will be under the guidance of a much stricter regime led by new GM Phil Gould.

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