The Parramatta Eels and New Zealand Warriors have made massive early bids to snare South Sydney golden boy Issac Luke. Luke comes off-contract at the end of the year and Souths have already prepared a rich four-yeal deal to keep him at Redfern.
But the Eels and Warriors have also entered the race to sign the Kiwi Test ace – and are offering bigger dollars than the Bunnies.
“I have had offers from both Parra and the Warriors and they are both very keen to get Issac on board,” Luke’s manager Gavin Orr says. Complicating the picture is the fact that Luke is attempting to get out of his deal with Orr and move to a rival player management group.
But the star hooker has four more years to run on his contract with Orr. “I am confident we can sort it out…I believe it will be in Issac’s best interest to stay with me,” Orr says.
Luke has strong connections with both the Eels and Warriors…. And he has been a regular in the Kiwi Test team in recent season – under the guidance of new Eels coach Steve Kearney.
Meanwhile, Greg Inglis’ arrival at Souths Sydney may have Redfern in raptures, but it’s a deal that has the potential to tear the Bunnies apart.
Inglis’ three-year deal, believed to be worth $1.8 million, has taken a fair slice of the club’s salary cap space and his signing could come at a cost.
On top of Luke, the Rabbitohs also have stars Nathan Merritt, Chris Sandow and John Sutton all off contract at season’s end. Keeping the quartet of big names and Inglis all under the cap may yet prove to be Souths’ biggest challenge in 2011.