There may be no rugby league on our TV screens but there’s still plenty of action happening in the transfer market.
Storm speedster Josh Addo-Carr has been spotted receiving the royal blue treatment in Belmore, while a rival club is ready to throw the cash at his teammate Jahrome Hughes.
Former Storm and Dragons star, Gareth Widdop could be on his way back to NRL with his management and current Super League club offering up his services.
Read on for the latest Transfer Whispers.
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FOXX SPOTTED IN BELMORE
The Bulldogs have emerged as a leading contender to secure the services of Melbourne Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr after he was spotted touring the club’s headquarters this week.
The Sydney Morning Herald photographed the 25-year-old at Belmore with his manager Mario Tartak with the Bulldogs reportedly “rolling out the blue and white carpet” in a bid to sign one of the NRL’s most explosive stars.
Addo-Carr is off-contract at the end of 2021 and has been linked to several Sydney clubs including South Sydney and the Wests Tigers after expressing a desire to return home to the Harbour City due to personal reasons.
Earlier this year the NSW Origin star signed a “heads of agreement” with the Wests Tigers to join Michael Maguire’s team on a four-year deal.
The agreement was contingent on him being available for the 2021 season and was subsequently voided when Addo-Carr backflipped last week and declared he would return to the Storm for the final year of his contract.
The Herald also reports Addo-Carr is eyeing a positional switch to fullback, a move which would no doubt afford him the ability to demand a more lucrative contract.
The Bulldogs have been unable to settle on a long-term No.1 with Will Hopoate, Nick Meaney and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak all having stints in the position.
ENGLISH STAR LINKED TO NRL RETURN
Former Storm and Dragons half Gareth Widdop is eyeing an NRL return and the Cowboys are in the box seat to land the 31-year-old.
It was revealed in August that Widdop, who is currently signed with Super League club Warrington Wolves until the end of 2023, wanted to return to Australia due to family reasons.
Warrington denied the news, but Widdop was still linked to the Red V, who had first shot at him as per the terms of his early release, in a swap deal with Corey Norman. However it’s understood the deal didn’t go ahead because both Warrington and Norman were not keen on the idea.
The Daily Telegraph reports the Cowboys are now considering making a play for the English International after Widdop’s management and Warrington reached out to offer his services.
If the Cowboys were to sign Widdop for 2021, it would allow young half Jake Clifford to join the Knights a year earlier after it was announced on Tuesday he would join the club in 2022.
Other than the Cowboys, The Telegraph says there’s not much appetite for Widdop given his hefty price tag.
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WARRIORS GO AFTER STORM BREAKOUT STAR
The Storm face a battle to keep breakout star Jahrome Hughes with The Sydney Morning Herald reporting the Warriors are planning a “long and lucrative” deal for the 26-year-old.
Hughes had a career-defining season after officially transitioning from fullback to halfback full time and helping steer Melbourne to the premiership.
Hughes is off-contract after next season, allowing him to talk to rivals for 2022 and beyond.
Melbourne tabled a two-year extension worth $1 million a fortnight ago, however it’s understood Hughes wasn’t thrilled with the upgrade as he was hoping for $700,000 a season.
Seven clubs are interested in acquiring Hughes’ services. Among those are the Warriors, Tigers and Titans.
The Storm are still waiting on a decision from skipper Cameron Smith. If he retires, or leaves the club, it will free up so needed salary cap space to provide Hughes with the deal he is hoping for.