DALY Cherry-Evans’ future at Brookvale is untenable with Manly bosses contacting the Titans to discuss a compensation deal that would deliver him to the Titans this season.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Manly’s recruitment-and-retention committee is prepared to explore a player-trade as the Sea Eagles begin planning for life after Cherry-Evans.
In the latest twist to the Cherry-Evans affair, the Titans have fielded a call from a Sea Eagles representative offering the playmaker’s services for this season.
Manly have contacted Daly Cherry-Evans over a possible release.Source: Getty Images
The Test half-back is due to launch his Titans career next year, but the Sea Eagles are ready to broker an immediate severance package featuring benefits for both parties.
Manly chairman Scott Penn says Cherry-Evans remains in the club’s plans, but won’t stand in the playmaker’s way if the Titans are willing to discuss an exchange of players.
“If the Titans came to us and said, ‘We want Daly early’ and there is a deal to be done, we would certainly look at it,” Penn said.
“As of today, Daly is firmly part of our plans for this year ... but having said that, it doesn’t mean that’s how it plays out.”
Asked if Manly will consider compensation in the form of a player-swap, Penn was unequivocal.
“Yes that’s certainly an option,” he said.
“There is multiple options, but the news is still fresh and we have a game to play on Saturday night. The most important thing is that if a deal (to release Cherry-Evans) is done, it is done behind closed doors and doesn’t affect our play on the field.
“We are open to that scenario. We are in the market right now and if the Titans have some opportunities within the club, we will talk to them.”
Ideally, the Titans would take Cherry-Evans tomorrow, but one impediment to an expedited transfer is the club’s salary-cap position.
The Gold Coast would have to outlay around $500,000 to accommodate Cherry-Evans this season — funds the Titans can only free-up by offloading a number of big-name stars.
Besieged duo Greg Bird and Dave Taylor, currently fighting cocaine-supply charges, face uncertain futures at the Titans. But it is understood coach Neil Henry is a fan of both and would oppose any moves to jettison the pair to fund Cherry-Evans’ immediate purchase.
Titans NRL player Greg Bird appears in Southport Court facing drugs charges. Pics Adam HeadSource: News Corp Australia
And while the Sea Eagles have been linked with Titans rookie Kane Elgey, Gold Coast hierarchy are hopeful Cherry-Evans can mentor the under-20s half-back ace next season.
However, it is clear Manly powerbrokers are ready to cut a deal, with Penn underscoring frustrations with mid-season departures by calling for a transfer window.
“It’s not a good look for the game for players to sign six to 12 months in advance and we need to do something about it,” he said.
“There is a risk your heart is not in it and we need 100 per cent from every one of our players every week.
“If there is a risk that is not possible, then you are better off releasing them earlier.
“Daly is a professional at heart. The expectation is that he will play out the way with us, but it doesn’t mean that’s how it plays out.”
Titans CEO Graham Annesley was tight-lipped on Tuesday on the prospect of Cherry-Evans joining the Titans in the coming weeks.
“Daly is currently contracted to Manly and I’m not prepared to say or do anything that could be interpreted as an attempt to destabilise another club’s playing roster,” he said.