The 2023 Super League season has seen plenty of immediate transfers and moves for players in 2024 with St Helens just recently announcing Daryl Clark for next season and recruiting Moses Mbye with immediate effect. Similarly Wigan Warriors have recruited Leeds Rhinos’ Sam Walters and former skipper Kruise Leeming among others for 2024, with Tyler Dupree arriving from Salford Red Devils this week in an immediate transfer.
That comes just months after Salford declaring that young English forward Dupree wasn’t for sale, with the Red Devils having turned down multiple bids from Hull KR for the 23-year-old.
The Red Devils had been planning for the future with their offer for fans to buy shares in the club, a venture that raised over £300,000 to ensure the stability of the side and make them more community-owned.
Pairing that with the plethora of long-term deals signed by key players including captain Kallum Watkins, centre Tim Lafai, England hooker Andy Ackers and most memorably the huge eight-year contract for reigning Man of Steel Brodie Croft, it seemed the Red Devils were building for the future.
Well now with Dupree, who signed a three-year contract just months ago, out the exit door and rumours circulating down under that Wests Tigers are looking at ways to trigger Croft’s release, there’s now another key man that Salford could have a fight on their hands to keep hold of.
That’s full-back Ryan Brierley who has been exceptional this season with the Scotland international being a key part of the team’s spine throughout the last two seasons – the former Leigh man finally showing his class in Super League after his previous domination of the Championship.
It’s now being reported by The Sportsman that Paul Rowley and his side could have competition for their full-back, which is no surprise given the form he has displayed.
They claim that he is discussing a new deal with the club but Super League rivals are circling and were Brierley to go, it could lead to a firesale with the NRL allure potentially set to lure Croft back down under.
“Next on Rowley’s to-do list will be to resolve the future of reigning Steve Prescott Man of Steel Brodie Croft, with Wests Tigers set to meet the release clause on his long-term contract, while star full-back Ryan Brierley continues to be courted by rival Super League clubs as he discusses a new Red Devils deal,” the report states.
Salford historically have been a selling club, you only have to go back to Jackson Hastings to note that, and this current situation and speculation means making the playoffs is of paramount importance with Rowley’s side currently edged out on points difference.
That ‘selling club’ mantra was seemingly put to bed earlier this season with the retention of their aforementioned stars, but having lost Dupree, should Brierley then depart it could be a tag that attaches itself to the club again, something the fans at the AJ Bell Stadium will be determined to avoid happening.