Wigan Warrior star’s reported NRL move “getting closer” but is “ultimately up to John Bateman”

For weeks now it has been reported by publications down under that John Bateman is headed back to the NRL.

With Wests Tigers happy to pay a transfer fee to acquire the Wigan Warriors star, reports have suggested he will sign a three-year deal at the club for 2023 and beyond.

His former teammate and Salford Red Devils star Jackson Hastings was described as “the fall guy” in their pursuit with him leaving to Newcastle Knights yesterday.

According to David Riccio of the Daily Telegraph speaking on Triple M radio, the deal is getting closer and is up to Bateman.

“I don’t think they are finished, I know they have got salary cap space left to go and that ultimately points towards John Bateman,” Riccio said on Triple M.

“It is getting closer, talking to Tigers officials yesterday they are quietly confident, they don’t want to talk publicly about how the negotiations are going.

“I expect the transfer free from the Tigers to Wigan, which sits outside the salary cap, to be around $250,000 to be paid by the Tigers.

“Ultimately it is up to Bateman now and whether he wants to come back to Australia, I believe all indications are that he does.”

“That will strengthen the Tigers up even more, but I don’t think they will be done after that, I think they’ve got at least one more spot in their roster, so the rebuild could continue beyond Bateman.”

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