Brisbane Broncos Training Session
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06: Kotoni Staggs passes the ball during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session at the Clive Berghofer Centre on May 06, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Off-contract Broncos star Kotoni Staggs is understood to be delaying a new deal at Red Hill until Brisbane land a formidable halves partner.

Staggs, who has previously flourished in the centres for the Broncos, is set for a shift to five-eighth and has made it clear that he wants a star halfback by his side before inking a lucrative extension to remain in Queensland, per The Daily Telegraph.

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Staggs has been closely linked with the Bulldogs and Eels as he weighs up his future, while Broncos coach Kevin Walters has backed the 22-year-old to remain in the maroon and gold.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 28: Kotoni Staggs of the Broncos looks on after a Roosters try during the round 16 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos at the Sydney Cricket Ground on August 28, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Walters has made his desires of signing an experienced playmaker clear, telling News Corp earlier this week that the club will land a prolific halfback for next season.

“The plan is to get someone (an established playmaker) and I believe we will,” Walters said.

“I won’t name names but, yes, I’m after an experienced playmaker. That’s my priority and that’s what I am looking for.

“I’m certainly looking at a number of playmakers.

“Everyone can see we need an experienced playmaker and I’m going to the market.”

The Broncos have been closely linked to several names that fit the bill, with Rabbitohs skipper Adam Reynolds their priority target.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 10: Adam Reynolds of the Rabbitohs chips the ball during the round one NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Optus Stadium on March 10, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Sharks veteran Shaun Johnson and English Super League duo Gareth Widdop and Aidan Sezer are also understood to be on Walters’ radar.

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The signature of either Reynolds or Johnson would most likely adhere to Staggs’ demands, with Walters set to meet with the former on Saturday in hope of edging out Cronulla, who have tabled a three-year, $2.4 million deal to the Souths skipper.

“Kotoni has to come up with a decision and we are waiting on that before we can progress forward with any other recruitment moves,” Walters told The Daily Telegraph.

“We are giving him the time and space to make a decision he is comfortable with.

“I expect it to be in the next seven days.”

It is understood that Staggs’ new deal would warrant a fee north of $800,00-per-season, while Reynolds’ demands fall in a similar financial bracket.

Walters has already lost Tom Dearden to the Cowboys from 2022 and is likely to open up more cap room with Anthony Milford’s $1 million contract drawing to a close at season’s end.

Staggs is currently nursing an ACL injury sustained last season, with a return date set for the mid-rift of the 2021 season.