Sought-after NRL fullback Josh Dugan has commenced contract extension talks with the Canberra Raiders but insists talk of a hot race for his signature beyond 2012 is not playing on his mind.
The NSW State of Origin fullback comes off contract at the end of the year, with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and St George Illawarra Dragons among those said to be keen on luring the 21-year-old star.
Dugan claims his preference is to remain with the Raiders and says while speculation surrounding his future can be frustrating, he’s firmly focussed on the Raiders’ upcoming campaign.
Dugan’s manager Paul Sutton said there had been no formal talks with any of the Sydney clubs, but positive negotiations had started with the Raiders two weeks ago.
“They’ve made a good first offer,” he told AAP.
Dugan, who rates himself 100 per cent fit and recovered from last year’s ankle surgery, gets his first hit-out in the NRL All Stars team next month and is eagerly anticipating an injury-free Raiders season.