Monaghan, Manly further apart By Adrian Proszenko May 23, 2005 MANLY halfback Michael Monaghan is increasingly unlike to re-sign with the Sea Eagles after the NRL club didn't table him an offer at a crisis meeting this morning. Monaghan was expected to sign a new three-year deal after a meeting between manager Jim Banaghan, Manly executive director Paul Cummings and coach Des Hasler but no offer was tabled. The parties have been at loggerheads after Manly's initial offer was rejected, with Banaghan reportedly suggesting the Sea Eagles had broken anti-tampering rules to snare Melbourne's Matt Orford as Monaghan's replacement. Manly denied this, claiming Monaghan had priced himself out of negotiations by demanding too much money. "Manly would like to put it off for a couple of weeks to sort things out, and we will get back together after the Roosters match (on June 3)," Banaghan said today. "We don't want to say anything to inflame the situation, we're just happy to sit back and meet them in two weeks. "He just wants to stay with Manly, that's Michael's focus." Monaghan, whose consistent form has been one of the key factors behind Manly's resurgence this season, said he was frustrated by the latest impasse. "Basically, we wanted to sign as quick as possible, but the club has decided to go another way," Monaghan said. "It's definitely disappointing and something I didn't expect to happen. "I'm fairly surprised by it, but hopefully we can work things out. "It would have been better if it was handled better, but I guess it's a bit late for that now." Monaghan said he'd heard rumours Manly was poised to sign Melbourne playmaker Matt Orford despite clubs being prohibited from negotiating with off-contract players until the anti-tampering deadline of June 30. "With the rules of the NRL, you'd like to think it is not correct," the Manly captain said of the speculation. "Obviously, for some reason they are not interested in talking. We will have to wait and see where they are looking at the moment. Obviously (the Orford rumour) has been spoken about ? whether it's true or not I don't know. "I guess the fact that they're not ready to sign yet you can read into that whatever you want." Cummings said the parties could negotiate until the Roosters match. "We've gone through the things where we stand and Jim and I agreed that this is not going to be a long, drawn-out thing," he said. "We just need to work through this. I have given him a time that will be no later than the Roosters game in two weeks' time." Monaghan said he had two matches to prove his worth before he next meets Manly officials. He lines up against in-form Panthers halfback Craig Gower on Sunday followed by a clash against Roosters No.7 Brett Finch the following week. "Hopefully I'll put together a few good games over the next couple of weeks and put the pressure on them to re-sign me," he said. "Obviously, it's not an ideal situation to be told you've pretty much just got a couple of weeks to perform. It's certainly something I would have liked to have sorted out earlier. "But I guess they're the terms they put to me and the job is just to go out there and play well the next couple of weeks." Monaghan said he'd weigh up offers from English clubs if Manly didn't re-sign him before June 30. "The club has to decide over the next few weeks whether it wants to sign me," he said. "Obviously I (could) be on the open market and we'll see what happens. England is also an option as well. "Hopefully those things can be sorted out here, but I have to start looking ahead and start seeing what other possibilities there are." Asked if, in hindsight, he wished he'd accepted Manly's initial offer, Monaghan said: "No, my manager wasn't in town and I was given a very short time to decide whether to sign or not. "I certainly wouldn't change what I did. It obviously would have made things a lot easier ... you don't want to be in that situation and sign for the wrong reasons."