Canberra and Junior Paulo’s agent are lobbying Parramatta to allow the embattled NRL forward to make an immediate switch to the Raiders.
Paulo has signed to join Canberra on a two-year deal beginning next season, however with Parramatta’s NRL season spiralling out of control and the 22-year-old seemingly mixing with the wrong crowd in Sydney, moves are already under way to shift him to the nation’s capital.
Paulo’s manager, Sam Ayoub, will reportedly request an early transfer from Parramatta as early as Thursday.
“The purpose behind the madness in signing with Canberra when we did was to get Junior away from some distractions and elements,” Ayoub told News Corp Australia.
“And I believe it would be in his best interests to make the move to Canberra now rather than wait until next year.”
Paulo posted the now-deleted Instagram photo of himself, fellow-Eel Corey Norman and Penrith hooker James Segeyaro dining with convicted criminals last Friday night.
The photo was believed to have been taken in the hours before Norman was allegedly found to be carrying MDMA capsules into the Star Casino.
Norman was on Wednesday charged with drug offences.
Paulo was also caught playing in a third-grade rugby union match under a false name earlier this month, one day after an NRL game against Canterbury.
And now the Raiders – who have in the past been renowned for tossing out problem players – believe they can help.
“The sooner Junior gets here the better it will be for his welfare,” Raiders chief executive Don Furner told News Corp.
“It’s going to be a tough four or five months for Parramatta, especially with the club unlikely to be playing finals football.
“It will be tough to keep players motivated.”
The Eels decided against moving Paulo to Canberra earlier this season when they needed to free up $570,000 worth of salary cap space in order to play for points again.
However given Parramatta have lost the two matches following the handing down of the salary cap findings, their chances of making the finals now appear slim.