Cronulla say they expect skipper Paul Gallen to be re-signed by next weekend and coach Shane Flanagan says he’s not losing sleep over the protracted negotiations.
Gallen has been in talks with the Sharks for most of the year and is believed to be on the cusp of signing a one-year contract extension to see out his NRL tenure as a one-club player.
As has been the case for most of the season, Flanagan fielded questions about the topic and while he acknowledged it had been a drawn-out process, moved to assure fans a resolution was around the corner.
“I’m looking for it to get done as soon as possible but I’m very confident it will get done,” Flanagan said.
“I sleep well at night knowing Gal is going to be here next year, it’s not a concern of mine.
“We’d like to get it done, it’s taken a long time, it’s filled up a lot of newspapers but I’m sure it’ll get done in the next week or two.”
Sharks chief executive Lyall Gorman defended the length of time the process had taken, saying there had been extended lengths of time that both parties had stepped away from the negotiating table.
“There was a period when there wasn’t discussions for months,” Gorman said.
“We’ve been very transparent … We’ll come to an agreement and Gal will do what he’s always wanted to do and we’ll continue our journey together.”
While Gorman stopped short of guaranteeing Gallen would be at the club next year, he was confident a deal would be struck soon, saying they were just working out the finer details.
“The spirit of the discussion is wonderful, the commitment to each other is very strong, it’s just a matter of working through some T’s and I’s,” Gorman said.
“We’re in that process and neither of us have ever been in a rush. We’re just listening and we want to achieve something together and we’re doing that in a very convivial way.”