Melbourne Storm boss Dave Donaghy is confident that five-eighth Cameron Munster will remain at the club.
Several clubs have reportedly inquired about Munster’s services, who could command a seven-figure annual salary open the market, with the 23-year-old set to come out of contract at the end of the 2019 season.
But Donaghy has reportedly been assured by Munster that he will stay at Melbourne and it is now a matter of working through a contract agreement.
“The one thing that I know about Cam is that he is straight up with us,” Donaghy told SEN Afternoons on Thursday.
“I’ve taken him out for a round of golf, we sat down with Frank Ponissi and Craig Bellamy, and had very similar discussions around the fact that he wants to stay in Melbourne. He has looked us in the eye and told us that.
“For us, it’s about working through a structure and a contract arrangement which is acceptable to both parties.
“That’s going to take some time, and pleasingly for us to see him grow as not only an athlete but also as a human, the maturity that I feel he has shown around saying, look I want to put the team’s performances and my own performance leading into the finals and during finals before my own contract talks.
“I think that’s a really good thing and it gives us a bit more time to work with his agent and his reps to build that out.”
Storm football manager Frank Ponissi added that Munster is a “marquee player” and that they were looking to tie him down on a long-term deal.
“He’s (Munster) indicated his strong preference is to stay with us, so as soon as the season is finished we’ll hopefully sit down with him and his manager and work out a deal,” Ponissi told NRL.com.
“This will be a long-term deal and he will be a marquee player, he already is.
“We won’t be looking at a one or two-year extension, we’ll be hopefully tabling a long-term deal and that’s why we’ll wait until after the year to tackle a negotiation like that.
“He’s a player in a pivotal position in the spine, he brings people through the gate. Whether he plays at six or goes back to one is up to Craig to decide next year.
“He’s also matured enormously off the field and had a terrific season and we’re confident of keeping him long-term.”
Munster is free to begin negotiating deals with rival clubs as of November 1.