Parramatta great Peter Sterling has cast doubt on whether Semi Radradra will return to the NRL, despite assurances from the Fijian flyer that he will be back to take on Cronulla on Saturday.
Radradra became caught up in a whirlwind of turmoil after rumours that he was set to make an immediate switch to European rugby union emerged in the wake of his decision to take a mid-season sojourn to native country.
His immediate NRL future became further clouded on Wednesday when it emerged his former partner had applied for an apprehended violence order, claiming he had assaulted her on a number of occasions over an eight-month period.
He failed to return to training on Wednesday, but his manager has guaranteed that he would see out his contract, which expires at the end of next year.
The club is understood to be asking for $700,000 from Radradra should he want a release, and Seven Network reported that the Eels’ demand for compensation had forced French rugby club Bordeaux to take their offer off the table.
The club has said it expects the Australian Test winger back in time for Friday’s captain’s run, but Sterling questioned whether Australian rugby league fans had seen the last of the two-time Dally M winger of the year.
“What concerns me today is the latest reports coming out, Parramatta talking about compensation and recompense,” Sterling said on Fox Sports.
“And that’s a real red flag to me in relation to what the club might do if Semi Radradra comes back to play. I don’t like that.”
The Eels’ proposal for a six-figure compensation package is similar to the one Sonny Bill Williams was forced to pay Canterbury following his walk out in 2008.
“There needs to be consequences,” Sterling said.
“We can’t have Sonny Bill Williams doing what he did, there have to be ramifications in regards to Semi.
“I’m sure there are extenuating circumstances, but the bottom line is there is a contract there until the end of next season and I know Parramatta are very keen for him to honour that.”