The race to sign young Penrith star Stephen Crichton has intensified, with reports the Wests Tigers are set to offer a massive contract to lure him away, per Fox Sports’ James Hooper.
Crichton is fresh off a breakout year for the Panthers, where he scored 17 tries in 22 games, and is out of contract at the end of 2021.
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The future of the 20-year old has been up in the air since the back-end of last year, when reports surfaced that he agreed to a “handshake agreement” with Penrith head coach Ivan Cleary.
The contract was supposed to be a three-year term worth $1.5 million dollars, a deal that the Panthers expected him to sign following the 2020 NRL season.
But since then, Crichton has refuted the handshake, telling The Sydney Morning Herald that he’ll look at what is best for him and his family.
According to Hooper, Wests are circling for his services, with the intention to play Crichton as a fullback in 2022.
This means that the Tigers have plans to play Crichton’s Penrith teammate Daine Laurie, who will be at the Tigers in 2022 as five-eighth.
It is believed that Crichton is a “snowflake’s chance in hell” to leave Penrith in 2022.
What will work in Penrith’s favour is that they’ll have a bit more room to sign Crichton to a high offer after winger Josh Mansour departed for South Sydney during the week.
— NRL News Now (@NRLNewsNow) January 13, 2021