Parramatta Eels captain Clint Gutherson has pulled out of contract negotiations his agent Sam Ayoub has confirmed.
The Eels could now face a bidding war in the face of a difficult end to the season as Parramatta attempt to cement their place in the top four following a tough run.
Officially, Gutherson can negotiate with any other club after November 1, with a number of NRL sides already showing their interest – which could increase if Parramatta don’t act fast.
However, Ayoub has confirmed that talks between club and player have been postponed for the time being as both concentrate on the season.
“I have put it in writing to the club (on Thursday),” Ayoub said.
“I have just sent them an email saying that I think it is unfair on Gutho and the team to be doing this now.
“So let’s hold off on negotiations, there is no desperation, until after the club’s commitments are over.”
Ayoub has also hit out at how Gutherson has been portrayed in the media, with his agent claiming that the Eels skipper has never asked for $1 million-a-season, or that he was rankled by an initial $750,000-a-season offer so much so that he stormed out of a meeting.
Ayoub said that offer was made via email and not when Gutherson and the club met face-to-face.
Parramatta face a resurgent Manly side that could leapfrog them into the play-offs on Saturday.