Gold Coast’s pursuit of English superstar Daryl Clark looks to be drawing to an underwhelming end, with the Super League playmaker’s asking price understood to be well exceeding that of the Titans.
The Queensland club have been closely linked to the 2014 Man of Steel in their bid to land a blue-chip No.9, with The Courier Mail now reporting that the Titans are set to withdraw from the race after surprising financial demands from the 28-year-old.
The Warrington hooker has played 273 games between his stints with the Wolves and Castleford and has eyed a switch to the NRL, with the Titans leading the race for his signature.
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) February 6, 2020
Having been blown away by Clark’s demands, the Titans are now set to tune their attentions to local, high-profile rakes, with the club already making their interest in Storm hooker Brandon Smith known.
Smith was previously given permission to assess his options elsewhere for the 2022 season, with Gold Coast and Canterbury two of the several potential suitors for the New Zealand international.
However, reports suggest Smith could play out the remainder of his contract until the end of next season and would be shopped around for 2023.
Smith is one of several targets on the Titans’ radar, with The Courier Mail also reporting that Broncos hooker Jake Turpin and in-demand Canberra veteran Josh Hodgson are also of interest.
Current Titans hooker Mitch Rein is off-contract this season and has previously admitted that his future depends on his 2021 performances.
“I’ve just got to do what’s best for the team and put my best foot forward,” Rein told The Daily Telegraph in March.
“There’s no point me worrying about that stuff I can’t control. It is what it is.
“Of course I (want to keep playing), why would I want to retire? Playing footy’s the best thing in the world.
“We’ll see how I go. No one is going to re-sign me unless I’m playing well, so I’ve got to do that first.”
Rein will line up in the No.9 jumper for the Titans when they face Wests Tigers on Saturday at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.