The Penrith Panthers are confident that they will be able to tie down emerging star Nathan Cleary on a long-term deal, but will not pay a compensation to bring his father, Ivan, on board next season.
Fairfax Media is reporting that the Panthers have backflipped on their earlier decision to not sit down with Cleary until the end of the season, now trying to convince the gun halfback to stay with the club.
And they are optimistic that the 20-year old will put pen to paper on a new multi-million dollar deal prior to the November 1 deadline when he hits the open market.
It is understood that Cleary’s preference is to remain in Penrith, given that they’re premiership window is wide open and a host of his friends remain at the club.
In addition, Cleary is reportedly happy to begin negotiating a new deal with the Panthers before he becomes available to the rest of the league.
But his father will not be joining him at Penrith after he revealed he wuld be staying at the Wests Tigers.
Penrith revealed earlier in the week that they had no interest in acquiring Cleary Sr to lead the team until his contract runs out in 2021.
“We’re not bringing in a coach and paying another club,” Panthers chief executive Brian Fletcher told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We’re not into that. Ivan’s got a contract and as far we’re concerned Ivan will see the contract out and it’s only ever been about [coming back to Penrith] from ’21 onwards.”