MANLY have upped the ante in their bid to poach Gold Coast young gun Kane Elgey after the rookie halfback baulked at a three-year contract extension from the Titans.
Elgey will tour the Sea Eagles’ Brookvale Oval headquarters in the next fortnight as the Silvertails search for a replacement for Titans-bound star Daly Cherry-Evans.
Manly have already submitted an offer to Elgey’s manager, Tas Bartlett, which trumps the three-year deal tabled by the Titans last week.
Elgey has made a promising start to his NRL career as Daniel Mortimer’s replacement, but the Titans have held back on offering a bumper salary increase for last season’s Holden Cup’s player of the year.
Titans coach Neil Henry is a fan of Elgey but has some delicate salary cap juggling to do given the club will be paying ‘‘DCE’’ $1 million a season.
Titans halfback Kane Elgey is being wooed by Manly.
The Titans have also been linked to several players for 2016, the latest being Parramatta five-eighth Corey Norman, who could be forced out by the arrival of Sea Eagles star Kieran Foran.
Norman, a Keebra Park product, has been in scintillating form and is a left-footed kicker who could be the perfect foil for Cherry-Evans.
Elgey is keen to stay on the Gold Coast but Bartlett said the 21-year-old would explore every option.
“He’ll go down to Sydney and have a look around,” he said.
“Manly have tabled a very good offer that would make him the starting halfback.
“He would love to remain a Titan however the current offer shows me they are in the market for someone else to partner Cherry-Evans.”
Complicating the situation is the uncertainty surrounding five-eighth Aidan Sezer.
Sezer is a free agent at season’s end but has put contract talks on hold as he strives to find form on the field.
Sezer has moved to the right side of the field to make Elgey’s transition to first grade simpler given he is also a left-foot kicker.
Cherry-Evans will wear the No. 7 jersey next year, meaning there is only one other halves position up for grabs.
Elgey made a solid debut in the Round 4 win over Cronulla and was defensively sound in Friday night’s loss to Brisbane.