When Leeds Rhinos star Liam Sutcliffe was linked with a move to Super League rivals Hull FC, there was a shocked gasp around the rugby league fraternity.
Sutcliffe, who has almost become part of the furniture at Headingley, has excelled in the past few weeks in the centre position but was linked with an immediate move to the MKM Stadium.
Leeds boss Rohan Smith, however, would not be drawn into speculation in a previous media conference.
“We will make announcements around signings or departures when the media team decide to do so,” Smith said.
And, now Sutcliffe himself has had his say on the rumours.
“I saw the rumours on Twitter,” Sutcliffe told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“I am not too sure how or where they have come from.
“I have still got another two years [on his Leeds deal].
“When it was on Twitter, that was the first I’d heard of it.”
Leading rugby league agent, Craig Harrison of Show Me The Money UK, feels for Smith in trying to manoeuvre the salary cap which is said to be extremely tight at Leeds.
“It must be so hard for Rohan because if the cap is where we think it is, he has got to make movement,” Harrison said on The Full Eighty Minutes podcast.
“They will have to release some players and will Sutty (Liam Sutcliffe) be one of those players? I would say he has to be looked at in that.
“Why I’m saying that is because he has only got what he’s got left on his contract, so when you get your board up and look at ones that are on over £160,ooo who aren’t playing well, they are staying because you can’t get rid
“If you’ve got Liam on whatever, you have to be giving a better deal for Liam to go or get a transfer fee but Liam is in a different bracket.
“There are probably ten players in that bracket who could move.”
For now Smith has been tinkering with his squad with Jack Walker moving to Hull FC on loan until the end of the season and both Jack Broadbent and Alex Mellor leaving early.