CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Shaun Johnson of the Warriors in action during the round three NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the New Zealand Warriors at GIO Stadium on March 24, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

The Canberra Raiders are formally not considering signing the electric Shaun Johnson, although the management of the halfback have sought out the Raiders’ interest.

Johnson is off-contract come the end of the 2019 season with his current club, the Warriors, telling him he’s free to explore any offers made to him from rival clubs.

News Corp Australia previously reported earlier this month the Raiders were making discreet plays to lure Johnson to the nation’s capital for next season.

Despite these initial reports, Canberra chief executive Don Furner has explained the club has not made any approaches to Johnson.

Furner told reporters on Monday that when a player of the caliber like Johnson becomes available, you don’t say no straight away.

“What happens is the manager rings you up and says would you like Shaun Johnson and ‘do you think he would be a good player at your club?’ and you don’t say no,” Furner said.

“Because one, it’s disrespectful. But then you go ‘great, we’d love a player like that in our team’.”

Furner has also brushed off reports that Andrew McFadden, the Raiders new assistant coach, is the mastermind behind bringing Johnson to the green machine.

McFadden has previously coached Johnson at the Warriors between 2014-2016, before moving into the assistant coach role under Stephen Kearney, now making the move across the ditch to work at Canberra.

The Raiders will begin their 2019 season with hardly any back-up’s for their halves, as Ata Hingano is sidelined with a shoulder injury and Blake Austin left for the English Super League.

Canberra’s captain Jarrod Croker told reporters he hasnt heard anything about a potential Johnson signing.

“It’s gone pretty quiet since then (initial reports) and I haven’t heard any more about it,” Croker said.

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