Dugan’s $400k pay cut to stay at Sharks, Norman’s salary halved: Transfer Whispers

Kevin Walters’ first win as Broncos coach is yet to come on the field, but off it he’s pulled a major coup. Meanwhile Josh Dugan faces a big pay cut to stay at the Sharks. Transfer Whispers >>>

The Broncos have finally gotten a win, but not on the footy field.

Josh Dugan is facing a massive pay cut to stay at the Sharks for the next two seasons, while Corey Norman will have to do the same to extend at the Dragons.

Read on for all the latest NRL Transfer Whispers.

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KEVVIE’S FIRST BIG WIN AT THE BRONCOS

It’s been a rough 12 months at Red Hill, but finally the Brisbane Broncos can celebrate a win.

Kevin Walters’ first outing as head coach ended in a painful loss to the Eels, but he’s had a victory off the field.

The Broncos are set to beat off a host of rival interest to retain boom young back rower Jordan Riki.

The 21-year-old New Zealand forward has been dubbed the ‘next Fifita’ at Red Hill and provided a silver lining at Red Hill after the loss of David Fifita to the Titans.

Seven’s Chris Garry reports Riki is close to signing an extension with the Broncos after “bonding” with Walters.

DUGAN’S MONSTER PAY CUTTO STAY AT SHARKS

Sharks star Josh Dugan will have to take a monster pay cut to stay at the Sharks beyond this season.

Dugan turns 31 in May and is resigned to taking a big hair-cut to his $900,000 deal, but he wants to extend his Sharks stay for another two years, according to The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie.

“Dugan comes off contract at the end of this year and he is on big money,” Ritchie explained on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“He is on about $900,000 his lodged contract for 2021, which is some serious coin. He does want another two years down their at Cronulla. He is settled in the Shire and he wants to play there.

“From inside Dugan’s camp and those who know him, he is resigned to the fact he won’t get $900,000 again. I think that is clear and he is even bracing for the fact it may be around $500,000.

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“That is still not bad money for a 31-year-old entering into a two-year-deal, which would mean an $800,00 pay cut over two years.

“He has been knocked about by injuries along the way, but I checked his games yesterday. 14 in 2018, 23 in 2019 and 16 last year in a reduced season.

“So the amount of injuries aren’t probably as bad as what Dugan gets lumped with.”

Dugan has scored 77 tries in 208 games for the Raiders, Dragons and Sharks since his debut back in 2009.

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NORMAN FACES HUGE PAY CUT

Corey Norman wants to stay at the Dragons, but will also have to take a massive salary cut to extend at the Red V.

Norman has completed his suspension for that off-field drama in January and he has been named at No.6 after the Dragons’ loss to Cronulla in Round 1.

“It is similar to the Josh Dugan situation,” Dean Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“He is on about $800,000 for this year. He is hoping to stay at the Dragons.

“If you speak to his management they just need Corey Norman on the football field. They can’t be entering into any negotiations if he is not playing.

“Now that he is back there is hopefully some chance of Corey stringing together some decent games, staying on the field and maybe securing a new deal.”

Rugby league legend Laurie Daley believes Norman’s next deal won’t come close to his current contract even if he returns to form in 2021.

“100 per cent,” Daley said when asked if Norman could expect a substantial pay cut.

“There is no way in the world anyone would pay Corey that type of money now. That is more than halved to get what Corey is worth.

“The thing in Corey’s favour is he has 12 months to prove himself to potential buyers.

“If he comes out and brains it then someone might pay him $600,000, but I don’t think he is going to get anywhere near what he signed at the Dragons for.”

Norman has scored 34 tries in 206 games for the Broncos, Eels and Dragons since his debut in 2010.

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TITANS CLOSE IN ON BRONCOS STAR

Despite Broncos star Kotoni Staggs saying he loves the club, the Titans are making a huge play for the future Origin representative.

Staggs is reportedly caught in a four-way battle for his services, with the Titans considered the biggest chance of luring him away from Red Hill.

“The mail I get is he is restless and it is not a Fait Accompli that he will stay at the Broncos,” Dean Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“Parramatta has been mentioned as have the Bulldogs, but the latest club I am hearing is the Gold Coast who are very keen on him.

“That would mean Kotoni Staggs stays in Queensland. If I’m a betting man I think he might go to the Gold Coast.

“I don’t think he will stay at Brisbane. I think he is restless enough to leave. I don’t think he will come to Sydney, so that leaves the Titans for mine.”

Staggs has scored 23 tries in 47 games for the Broncos since his debut in 2018.

Meanwhile Staggs’ decision could have an impact on the Eels’ ability to keep star forwards Nathan Brown and Ryan Matterson happy.

“I think Nathan Brown will stay at the Eels,” Ritchie said.

“Manly has made a big offer and other clubs are in there, but he is looking at about $600,000 a year at the Eels, which is hefty money.

“The interesting part at Parramatta is that Ryan Matterson has put an email out to clubs saying that he is coming off-contract and please express and interest in Ryan.

“They wouldn’t want to lose both, but it is interesting if they did lose one what the flow on effect would be and if it would be Matterson or Brown who goes.”

Brown has played 101 games for the Tigers, Rabbitohs and Eels since his debut in 2013, while Matterson has played 104 games for the Roosters, Tigers and Eels.

PANTHERS REQUIRE A SWAP OPTION FOR BURTON

The Panthers won’t be giving up back-up No.6 Matt Burton unless they can get a suitable player swap from the Bulldogs.

“I spoke to Trent Barrett and Greg Alexander about this in the last 48 hours and there were suggestions that the Bulldogs have had a late crack at Burton right on the eve of the season,” Ritchie said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“The Bulldogs are continuing to hover around Burton in the hope that it may just not work out at Penrith. They are watching where he is selected and how much game time he gets.

“The key for Penrith is who they could get in return. When you go through their list and the strengths of the Penrith there is not a lot in that Bulldogs squad that Penrith would jump at in terms of a player swap.

“If there is a decent player at Belmore then Canterbury aren’t going to throw him out to another club.

“I think Penrith want Burton and he will stay this year, but if Canterbury come back to the table with a player that the Panthers need then discussions could open up again.”

Burton has scored three tries in six games for the Panthers since his debut in 2019 and has signed a three-year-deal with the Bulldogs from 2022.

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