Like a jilted lover realising the romance is finally over, Jarryd Hayne says he had to move on from Parramatta.
The ex-representative superstar, who walked out on the Eels in 2014 to pursue his dream of becoming an NFL player, announced his return to the NRL on Wednesday after signing a two-year deal with Gold Coast.
It is a decision which will infuriate Eels fans and clearly one the 28-year-old was still coming to terms with – having stated previously he would rejoin the Eels if he ever returned to the NRL.
Despite offers from several clubs, he said the one deal he had been waiting for never emerged.
“I’ve been back from Fiji over a month now and every week I’d ask my manager ‘what’s Parra doing?” he said.
“There was speculation they tabled an offer but none of that got brought to me formally.”
Parramatta countered that claim from Hayne on Wednesday, releasing a statement saying they communicated an offer to Hayne’s management in the past 48 hours.
“While it was a substantial offer, we were advised by Jarryd’s management that it was not comparable to the other proposals,” interim CEO Bevan Paul said.
Regardless, for a man who’d just become the face of rugby league on the Gold Coast, Hayne looked every inch like his heart remains firmly in western Sydney.
For minutes Hayne explained to the media pack how Parramatta’s off-field administrative woes in the wake of the salary cap scandal made negotiations impossible.
In the end, he said he simply had to make the decision to sign elsewhere, adding the Eels’ situation was simply “sad”.
“How can you go back when you’ve got no contract on the table?” the dual Dally M winner said.
“They really do need to fix the inside. They need to really get a strong board together and worry about that.
“That’s Parra’s biggest issue at the moment.”