The latest on future of Leeds Rhinos’ Liam Sutcliffe as Super League rivals circle

With the transfer deadline coming up this week, Super League teams are wheeling and dealing in order to get signings over the line.

Two of those teams most active in the market have been Hull FC and Leeds Rhinos, with the former linked with the latter’s Liam Sutcliffe.

Sutcliffe, who has almost become part of the furniture at Headingley, has excelled in the past few weeks in the centre position but has been linked with an immediate move to the MKM Stadium.

Leeds boss Rohan Smith, however, would not be drawn into speculation.

“We will make announcements around signings or departures when the media team decide to do so,” Smith said.

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.

Rugby League Live also yesterday revealed that Oliver Gildart is set for a shock move back to Super League to sign on a short-term deal with the Leeds Rhinos until the end of 2022 as Smith attempts to wheel and deal around the tight salary cap.

That will then mean Gildart leaves for the Dolphins in their inaugural NRL season in 2023.

For Leeds boss Rohan Smith, however, he remained coy on potentially bringing in the former Wigan Warriors centre.

“I’m not aware of any news on Oliver despite what has been broken, but there is always a chance,” Smith said.

“We have the potential and capability to make some late moves but there is nothing set in stone there.

“We don’t have to but there are moving parts and we are looking to build our squad for this year and next year.”

A move for Gildart would, however, make sense with the Sutcliffe link, too.

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