While all the focus at the Manly Sea Eagles has been on retaining big name internationals Kieran Foran, Tony Williams, Daly Cherry-Evans and Brett Stewart, quietly-spoken utility star Dean Whare hardly rated a mention.
But the 22-year-old is set to be bumped up the order at the negotiation table in coming weeks as Manly’s future roster continues to take shape.
Resigned to losing Williams to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, the Sea Eagles hope to have Stewart’s signature by the end of next month to add to the retention of Cherry-Evans and Foran.
The Kiwi-born flyer, who scored a hat-trick of tries on debut in 2010, can handle fullback, wing and centre with equal distinction and is on the radar of several clubs. His preference is to stay in maroon and white but a move is on the cards if a deal can’t be struck.
“My manager is working that out at the moment and I will see him in a couple of weeks and go from there,” Whare said.
“He’s talking with other clubs and Manly and hopefully everything turns out good and we’ll know in the next two or three weeks.
“I definitely want a long-term future here. I like the culture here and the lifestyle.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”
Manly coach Geoff Toovey wants to keep Whare but concedes salary cap pressures may force the former Junior Kiwi representative out of Brookvale.