Khoder Nasser, who manages Anthony Mundine and Sonny Bill Williams, took over Cooper’s management just four days ago and has one eye on the future when his ARU contract expires in October.
The cashed-up Parramatta Eels went close to luring Cooper to the NRL last year and the Broncos have not ruled out making a play for the rugby whiz to groom him as a potential replacement for retiring champion playmaker Darren Lockyer.
Cooper’s flimsy defence is seen as a major problem in league but there is no doubt he is one of the few rolled gold stars who would be able to put more bums on seats at Broncos games.
In rugby circles, Nasser is viewed as an unpredictable wildcard but the player agent has always walked to the beat of his own drum and makes no apologies for doing so.
Nasser insists Cooper, who turns 23 today, is focused on the rugby World Cup in New Zealand starting in September but would be silly not to consider any potential approaches from the Broncos who are set to sign supercoach Wayne Bennett.
ARU chief executive John O’Neill expects contract talks with Cooper over the next two months and rugby remains confident it can keep him in the code, especially with the British and Irish Lions touring in 2013.
It is understood the Broncos are unlikely to move on many signings until Bennett signs on the dotted line – because the new coach will understandably want a big say in player recruitment.
While Cooper’s tackling is a major concern for NRL suitors, it is his silky skills with the ball and the attacking opportunities he creates for team mates which make him a draw card worth the risk in league.