MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Cameron Munster of the Storm looks on during a Melbourne Storm NRL training session at Gosch's Paddock on September 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Storm have reportedly opened contractual negotiations with controversial playmaker Cameron Munster in an effort to keep the 27-year-old south of his state of origin.

As first reported by The Daily Telegraphthe Queenslander is expected to be tabled a five-year deal worth in the vicinity of $4 million by his club of eight years, a contract that has been stumped to stave off The Dolphins' expansion advances.

While this rumoured figure of $800,000 per season will keep the Rockhampton product's bottom line buffed up until after his 32nd birthday, it is one that sits below his current wage.

Currently contracted to the Craig Bellamy-led club until the cessation of 2023, Munster stands to earn a combined $2.3 million across the course of the next pair of seasons.

GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Cameron Munster of the Melbourne Storm in action during the round 21 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Melbourne Storm at Central Coast Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

However, with the recently rehabilitated star reportedly desperate to win the respect back of those attached to the southern franchise, this possible dip in earnings is a small price to pay to finish a career as a one-club legend.

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Although the lure for Munster to link up with former Maroons mentor Wayne Bennett is obviously tantilising, Storm recruiting boss Paul Bunn believed that the six-time Kangaroo wouldn't follow Felise Kaufusi and the Bromwich brothers to Redcliffe.

“We’re keen to extend Cameron, that’s part of our strategy,” Bunn began.

“We’ve initiated talks with quite a number of our players, including Cameron."

With The Dolphins also keen to bring Jahrome Hughes to the club at the completion of 2022, Bunn explained that neither he nor the club would yield on any deal that saw the halves move on from Melbourne.

Melbourne Storm Training Session
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jahrome Hughes takes on the defence of Cameron Munster during a Melbourne Storm NRL training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium on September 29, 2020 in Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“You need a quality spine to be competitive and Cameron and Jahrome helped us win a premiership," he continued.

“At the end of 2023, Cameron will be 29 years old, so if he continues to train well and look after his body the way he is doing now, I can’t see any reason why he can’t play for quite a few more years.

“We are looking at our roster moving forward. We will not lose Cameron Munster, I’m pretty confident of that.”

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Bunn also went on to suggest that the losses of Kaufusi and the duo of Bromwich's had actually strengthened the Storm's hand in regard to retaining their playmaking pair.

“The boys who have signed with Redcliffe, we wish them the best of luck,” he said.

“They have signed longer-term deals, so there’s no hard feelings, the Bromwich boys and Felise have served us well, but that gives us space in the salary cap to retain others.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Jesse Bromwich of the Storm (L) poses with brother Kenny Browmwich during a Melbourne Storm NRL media opportunity at AAMI Park on September 24, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Munster and Melbourne are set to face the Warriors and Knights in trial games across the next month before their season proper commences on March 12 when they face the Wests Tigers at CommBank Stadium.

Yet, given his one-match suspension due to his involvement in the club's substance scandal last September, the Queenslander will be forced to wait until Round 2 before lacing the boots up for competition points.

 

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Not that I put too much stock in reported contract values, not many players and especially the elite will hang around for unders towards the end of their careers. I suspect we may get the “I’ll let my football do the talking” line from Cam as November looms and the Storm get anxious. Wayne might have a Storm hooker and 5/8 heading north in the next few years.

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