Cronulla have further firmed their stance in their race for Adam Reynolds, setting a deadline for the South Sydney captain to respond to their lucrative offer.
The Sharks have tabled a three-year, $2.1 million offer to the veteran halfback and have demanded to hear back from Reynolds as late as Wednesday night before they opt to pull out of negotiations, according to The Australians Brent Read.
Reynolds has been confirmed to depart Redfern at season’s end, with Cronulla and Brisbane the two keen suitors chasing his signature.
It’s understood that the Broncos are currently leading the race for the premiership playmaker, with the Queensland club offering a three-year deal worth close to $800,000-per-season as well as the captaincy at Red Hill.
Read’s report suggests incoming Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon has supported the clubs decision to alert Reynolds’ management of their latest demands to hear back on how close they are to an agreement.
The Sharks are beginning to lose their patience with Reynolds and have already turned a degree of their attention elsewhere, namely Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford.
Cronulla have already lost veteran Chad Townsend to North Queensland from next season and are unlikely to re-sign star half Shaun Johnson.
Cronulla chief executive Dino Mezzatesta praised Reynolds’ profile but revealed there had been some difficulties in their bargaining.
“We were told we were the preferred club,” Mezzatesta told The Australian.
“We put our best offer on the basis of what their requirements were. After that, we were asked whether we would go to four years.
“We told his management that we could not do that. But we did put our best foot forward over a three-year deal.
“The negotiations have been driven by Fitzy and the football committee. Now that we know we have put our best foot forward, we have a plan and we are working towards the future, we have also put a deadline on the talks with Adam.
“We would love him to join the Sharks. He is a quality player and we believe he would be a perfect fit for us. At the same time, we need to keep moving forward with an eye on next year and the management of our salary cap.
“We are still very keen to see him at our club. Everything suggests now we have met his requirements and there is no reason why he wouldn’t come to Cronulla.”
Reynolds’ decision could come down to location, with the veteran originally hoping to remain in Sydney to play out the remainder of his career and have little impact on his young family.
However, the affordability of living in south-east Queensland would also tempt the halfback to strongly consider his options at Red Hill.