Newcastle’s hopes of luring Danny Buderus back for a swansong season have hit a roadblock after Leeds Rhinos revealed last night they had no intention of releasing the champion hooker.
Buderus is contracted to Leeds for next season but has been approached by the Knights to consider returning for a final campaign under master coach Wayne Bennett.
The 33-year-old is understood to be keen on coming home, but Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington told the Newcastle Herald last night that he expected Buderus to honour his contract.
The Buderus impasse creates a dilemma for the Knights because their established hooker, Isaac De Gois, will join Cronulla next year after he was unwanted by Bennett.
Another option, Nathan Fien, has re-signed with the Dragons.
That leaves Newcastle with rugged Matt Hilder and possibly Kurt Gidley to share the dummy-half duties.
If Buderus insists he wants to leave, and Leeds are equally adamant they will not release him, the Knights may have to consider paying a transfer fee.
Matt Orford was involved in a similar stand-off before Canberra and Bradford reached what Mimis called an “amicable arrangement” this year.
South Sydney also paid a $200,000 transfer fee to secure Sam Burgess from Bradford in 2010.