Outgoing Canberra second-rower John Bateman has been tabled $2 million offers on both sides of the world as he seeks a new club from next season.
It was announced yesterday that the England international had been released from the final year of his contract with the Raiders in order to ‘pursue other career opportunities’.
NRL.com reports Bateman is considering a three-year $2 million deal with the Canterbury Bulldogs, while former club Wigan have offered similar money over four years in a bid to tempt the 26-year-old back to Super League.
St George Illawarra are also contemplating a move for Bateman as they explore the market in a bid to replace Newcastle Knights-bound Tyson Frizell.
It’s predicted by many that Bateman will choose to return home to be closer to his family, despite having a sensational first season in the NRL that saw him named in the Dally M Team of the Year.
Canterbury are said to be very keen on securing a deal for the Bradford-born back-rower, with numbers of around $800,000 per year sure to catch the attention of Bateman’s management.
An ongoing shoulder problem will leave Bateman as a bit part player for Canberra in 2020, with the Raiders hierarchy said to be disappointed at the way he handled his exit from the club.
“The Raiders gave me an opportunity to come to Australia and play in the NRL and I’ve loved every moment playing for the club,” Bateman said in a statement.
“I’m doing everything I can to make sure I get back on the field as soon as possible and finish my last season with the Raiders on a high.”