Both the Wests Tigers and Melbourne Storm could get their long-awaited wish as the chances of a swap deal between Paul Momirovski and Harry Grant finds new life, as reported by NRL.com.
Negotiations around the player-swap deal look to have progressed significantly across the last few weeks, with the likely return of Brandon Smith rising as the main factor to get the deal over the line.
The NRL looked to have abolished the idea of Momirovski and Grant trading places for the 2020 season, only to return to their current employers at the season end.
The arrival of Momirovski would have seen Melbourne’s budget surpass the salary cap by $15,000.
According to NRL.com, the deadline of March 1 for each side to submit their 29-man squad has allowed Melbourne a space of wiggle room on their books.
Smith will look to return from a fractured cheekbone in what will be a fast recovery since sustaining the injury in late February, meaning Craig Bellamy is likely to send Grant to Concord in hopes of more game time.
Smith’s initial recovery time was set to last up to six weeks, but the New Zealand playmaker is in line for selection for Saturdays clash against Cronulla.
The swap deal is unlikely to be finalised in time for this weekends round two fixture, with round three looking to be the more realistic time frame to see the pair feature in new colours.
Neither Momirovski and Grant featured in their club’s victories in round one.
Grant was a late omission from the Storm’s clash against Manly, while Momirovski featured in the Tigers warm ups as 18th man in his sides game against the Dragons.
Grant recently requested a move to the Tigers in the build up to round one, but Smith’s setback forced Melbourne into requiring Grant’s services as Cameron Smith’s support.
Neither Melbourne or Wests have made an official announcement in regards to the swap deal or player contracts.