Parramatta are poised to make their first signing since being sanctioned for breaching the salary cap, with five-eighth Corey Norman he could extend his stay with the club this week.
Despite Eels CEO John Boulous and chairman Steve Sharp being amongst the five club officials provisionally suspended by the NRL, it appears Norman has still been able to negotiate a new deal.
“I spoke to my manager this morning and they’re sorting something out pretty soon. Hopefully it comes along quick,” Norman said on Tuesday.
“He called me the other day and said they were going to get something done this week.”
With Michael Gordon, Isaac De Gois and Danny Wicks the only first-grade regulars off the books at the end of the year, re-signing Norman could all but end the possibility of Jarryd Hayne returning next season.
Norman said he was unsure if Hayne would return to the NRL once his Olympic Games obligations were over.
“I wouldn’t have a clue with him. I don’t even think he knows what he’s doing yet,” Norman said.
“We’ll just leave it up to him and see what he does.”
With the prospect of being stripped of the 12 points they have accumulated to date still hanging over their head, Parramatta were last week declared cap-compliant after trio Anthony Watmough, Ryan Morgan and Nathan Peats all came off the Eels books.
Peats signed an 18-month deal with Gold Coast one day before the Eels were able to play for points in a loss to South Sydney.
It is believed either Peats or Norman had to be culled for the Eels to get under the cap, at which point the new Titans rake said he knew it was him headed for the exit door.
“When I heard he said that, I felt pretty bad,” Norman said.
“Obviously I didn’t want him to leave. But like he said, it’s a business and that’s just the way things happen these days. It’s a tough one.”
It is believed 25-year-old Norman, who arrived at Parramatta from Brisbane in 2014, did not event test his value on the open market as he stayed loyal to the beleaguered club.
“I like the Eels,” he said.
“I like Brad and the coaching staff and all the boys here. My main priority is to stay here first and if they can get a deal, I’ll leave it up to them.”