Melbourne may need to offer Cameron Munster a seven-figure salary in order to keep him at the Storm, given the intense bidding war that’s set to centre around the 23-year-old.
Munster is out of contract at the end of the 2019 season, and is reportedly set to test his value on the market from November 1.
The Sunday Mail understand the list of potential suitors is now up to eight, with clubs including Gold Coast, North Queensland, Parramatta and Sydney all interested in the Origin five-eighth.
Munster wants to remain in Melbourne, although his salary could be the defining factor.
Queensland legend Darren Lockyer agrees with the market value for Munster, but hopes he remains under the tutelage of Craig Bellamy.
“When a club spends millions on players, they have to be prudent that they are buying the right player because it’s a huge chunk out of the salary cap,” Lockyer told the Daily Telegraph.
“I can understand why Cameron is in high demand, but he needs to weigh up where he can play his best football.
“I believe the best club for him is Melbourne.
“Craig Bellamy (Storm coach) is very good in bringing discipline to a group and the standards he drives has helped Cameron’s form this year, even for Queensland in the Origin arena.
“Cam will have plenty of interest but he needs to be strategic about his next deal.”
Melbourne remain confident they’ve done enough to keep Munster around, with Storm CEO Dave Donaghy recently telling Melbourne radio Munster has confirmed to the club he wants to remain at AAMI Park.