Off contract at season’s end, Nielsen did his bargaining power at the negotiating table no harm at all with a powerful performance in the Storm’s 24-10 defeat of Souths last Sunday.
The 26-year-old is keen to remain in Melbourne but with the club fighting hard to retain Test and Origin halfback Cronk, Nielsen’s form could also present a retention headache for the Storm.
Having made his Origin debut last season, Nielsen could command upwards of $250,000 a season on the open market. The Mackay product said his promising early-season form was partly motivated by the knowledge he is playing for his future.
“Hopefully I get to stay here with Cooper but you never know what happens,” Nielsen said.
“I’d like the opportunity to stay down here, it’s my second home and this is my fifth season with Melbourne, so hopefully I can get another couple of years here, but I have to play good footy to get a new contract, whether it’s here or another club.”