Discussions about Gold Coast Titans halfback Ashley Taylor's future will likely become much clearer following his next three matches of footy.
Subject to much contention over the past few months, Titans coach Justin Holbrook has held his cards close to his chest when it comes to his decision on whether or not Taylor will be wearing a Gold Coast jersey next year.
Holbrook has remained consistent on his message to the media, and has stated that the same one is being relayed back to Taylor just as emphatically - a decision is yet to be made.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Holbrook has denied he's "messing with Taylor's head", rather they feel comfortable that whatever the outcome is - Taylor stays or he doesn't - both parties will be okay.
“I don’t think it’s upsetting him,” Holbrook said.
“It’s open-ended. It’s not a definite yes or we would have signed him, but I don’t want to close the door either.
“We haven’t got any definite options for six next year so the longer I pick him the better chance he’s got.
“If his future’s not here, at least he is playing and, if he’s playing well, other clubs are going to show interest.
“For Ash, the best result is him playing footy. I’m not too stressed about what I say or don’t say to him. What I’m saying to you now is what I’ve said to him.”
The Titans are reportedly scheduled to make a call on Taylor at their next recruitment committee meeting in the coming weeks and the maligned 'million dollar man' has the next three games to prove himself.
Pitched as a saviour for Gold Coast when he inked his lucrative $3 million deal back in 2017, Taylor and the Titans have been unable to snag a finals appearance since his tenure began.
Taylor certainly hasn't performed poorly this season, otherwise Holbrook would have dropped him months ago, he just hasn't lived up to the bill.
The writing is all but on the wall for Taylor and his future with the Titans, with Holbrook questioned about why, in his two-years coaching for him, he hasn't seen enough to make a decision this close to the end of the half's contract, saying "It can be easy, but also difficult.
“It’s up to Ash to be playing well. He’s got the best opportunity.
“I’m trying to keep it open for him as best as I can. That’s why the option is still open. If he can play well in the back end of the year then anything is possible.
“As frustrating as it would be for Ash, at least I’m picking him and he’s in the side. That’s giving him his best chance to be re-signed with us or elsewhere.”
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With the emergence of young half Toby Sexton, who has been sidelined this weekend for what was described by Holbrook as a "break", and the consistent play of co-captain and five-eighth Jamal Fogarty, Taylor will likely be pushed aside to allow the two to step in and take the reigns full time.
It's been suggested that if Taylor doesn't get any bites by an NRL team for next season, he could take his talents to England for a year or two.
With Gold Coast currently tied for eighth spot alongside Canberra, Taylor will utilise these next 240 minutes of playing time, including their crucial upcoming bout against the Melbourne Storm, to prove himself to either the Titans or a prospective club that his time spent on the Gold Coast and the teams overall lack of success shouldn't just be rested on his shoulders.