Gold Coast will focus their attentions on snaring Trent Hodkinson and James Maloney to ease their halves woes after ruling out making a play for Chris Sandow.
With Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans reneging on a deal to join the club and versatile No.6 Aidan Sezer set to join Canberra, The Titans have been left to source a playmaker for the 2016 NRL season.
Titans CEO Graham Annesley confirmed the club had held preliminary negotiations with Hodkinson and Maloney but said neither were close to signing.
Coach Neil Henry also drew a line through Parramatta playmaker Sandow, who is on the outer with the Eels after this week making controversial comments that the team’s play was too structured.
The Titans say they will be big players in the transfer market with significant room in their 2016 salary cap after Cherry-Evans’ backflip.
“We’re not going to be in a rush,” Annesley told AAP.
“We’ve got a fair amount of cap space available next year but we’re not going to pay overs or be forced into signing people we don’t believe are a good fit. That’s no way to recruit.”
When Henry was asked if the club had any interest in Sandow, he said they were focusing their efforts elsewhere.
“We haven’t made an inquiry about Chrissy,” Henry told Triple M.
“I’ve worked with him in the All-Stars and I like the kid but at the moment I think we’d be moving in a different direction.”
NSW halfback Hodkinson is tipped to leave the Bulldogs with the club to invest in emerging half Moses Mbye instead.
Sandow has reportedly been told he will not be re-signed by the Eels after this week saying the club would win more matches if coach Brad Arthur allowed him to play the way he wanted.
On Sunday, the Titans were given a glimpse of what they will be missing next season when Sezer led the side to a 28-14 win over Canterbury at cBus Super Stadium.
Sezer ignited the Titans’ surge with a 40-20 which led to Kevin Gordon’s try before setting up Brad Tighe.
Maloney proved his worth against the Warriors on Saturday night, coming up with two clutch plays as the Sydney Roosters overran the Warriors 25-21 at Mt Smart Stadium.
In a frantic final stanza, Maloney crossed and then kicked a field goal before a returning Blake Ferguson grabbed a last-gasp try to sink the Warriors.
The Wests Tigers rebounded with an important upset win over South Sydney on Friday night with Martin Taupau leading the way.
While James Tedesco and Luke Brooks were also leading lights in the Tigers’ 34-6 mauling of the premiers, it was Taupau who laid the foundation and was rewarded with two tries.