Plenty of people were surprised by the revelation that Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur was being shopped to rival clubs – none moreso than the coach himself.

Nine journalist Danny Weidler reported yesterday that Arthur’s management had already been looking to secure a future contract away from the west when his current deal expires at the end of 2024.

Since then the club and coach have both confirmed that they were ‘in the dark’ about any proposed dealings.

“I approached Brad for comment. He said he's in the dark about any maneuvering and it’s his intention to honour his contract with Parramatta until the end of 2024 and try and win a competition with them,” Weidler reported yesterday evening.

Arthur’s management group, Pacific Sports Management, have been unavailable for comment since the story broke.

Arthur has been with the Eels permanently since 2014 after coaching the club for a six-game spell in 2012. Though the Eels have become an entertaining and constant finals fixture under his watch, an inability to move past the semi-finals has some wondering if the coach can end the Eels’ 36-year title drought.

Despite their talented roster the Eels have been wracked by inconsistency in 2022, currently sitting in sixth place.

Further demonstrating their issues, they’re the only team to have beaten runaway leaders Penrith, but are also just one of three teams to lose to the last-placed Wests Tigers.

When probed on the issue earlier in the year, Arthur was clearly aware.

“(Elite teams) start well and do the same every week,” Arthur said following the Eels’ Magic Round loss to the Roosters.

“They go after it every week without question and we don’t at the moment.

“The games we’ve lost this year, we’ve been beaten to the punch at the start of games.

“We’re waiting to see what the opposition does when we need to go after the game at the start. If you give good teams a start on the scoreboard it’s very hard to peg back.”

The news about Arthur comes at a strange time for NRL coaches, with Anthony Griffin’s fate to be decided by Dragons powerbrokers at a meeting today, despite the team being in the hunt for finals football and Dally M leader Ben Hunt admitting just last week that he was relishing football under ‘Hook’.