SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Nathan Brown of the Eels Is tackled during the round 23 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Bankwest Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Parramatta Eels and Manly Sea Eagles are set to trade players before the 2023 NRL season gets underway.

Former Origin middle forward Nathan Brown was given permission by Parramatta last year to explore his options, and refusing to stand in the prop's way if he received an immediate offer elsewhere.

Both the Wests Tigers and Canterbury were originally touted as a potential landing spot, however The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting Brown may be on the move as part of a player swap - for Manly centre Morgan Harper.

The Sea Eagle's outside back featured for the Maori All Stars over the weekend, and despite featuring in 41 NRL games for Manly over the last two seasons, Harper wasn't expected to start the season in first-grade following Reuben Garrick's shift to centre.

NRL Rd 1 - Panthers v Sea Eagles
PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10: Morgan Harper of the Sea Eagles reacts during the round one NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Sea Eagles at BlueBet Stadium on March 10, 2022, in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Brown, who captained Italy at last year's World Cup, was dropped by Parramatta midway through last year before being recalled by the Eels for their Grand Final clash against the Penrith Panthers.

The biggest issue as it stands is the salary, with Nathan Brown currently earning around double Harper's annual salary, which could see the deal fall over.

However, despite the six-figure jump between salaries, interest remains between the two rival clubs, provided they can find a middle ground.

Will Penisini is guaranteed the right centre spot after re-signing with the club recently, however there's massive question marks over the left side following Tom Opacic's departure to the Super League.

Bailey Simonsson featured there in the Grand Final while Parramatta also still have Waqa Blake at the club, however it's believed that the Eels would prefer the former Panther to remain on the right wing outside Penisini.

Parramatta are eager to clear Brown's salary from their cap with both Mitchell Moses and Maika Sivo off-contract at the end of this season, with the former eager to get a deal done before Round 1.


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