Bateman could return to his old side, the Wigan Warriors, after two NRL suitors have dropped out of the race for his signature. According to sources, St George Illawarra have formally withdrawn from negotiations while the Canterbury Bulldogs have stared to look elsewhere.
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Bateman was given permission from the Raiders to leave his contract at the end of the season on Tuesday. It is believed he was hoping to secure a $800,000 a year NRL contract that has yet to materialised. His management will now accept under that figure if only the deal is four years long.
The Dragons had offered three years in negotiations, while the Bulldogs have not publicly stated whether they are still chasing Bateman’s signature. As he has only played one full season of NRL footy, some clubs were hesitant to offer four years.
Wigan have offered a $2 million four-year deal to Bateman, who would like that figure increased as the club is set to lose veteran Sean O’Loughlin to retirement at season’s end and could also ship off backrower Joe Greenwood to Leeds.
However, the Warriors reportedly remain keen to acquire him.
There is speculation that the Bulldogs were interested in Hastings, but are more focused on bringing over State of Origin winger Nick Cotric from the Raiders on a $600,000 a year deal.