Manly target Broncos’ Thomas Flegler on six-year $4million deal
The Broncos face a massive challenge to retain star forward Thomas Flegler when he hits the open market on November 1, with Manly preparing a monster deal to poach the prop.
Brisbane are facing a huge battle to retain Tom Flegler with Sydney rivals Manly ready to table a massive $4 million deal for the Queensland Origin firebrand.
News Corp can reveal Flegler is poised to hit the open market from November 1 as at least five NRL rivals, headlined by the Sea Eagles and Warriors, prepare to wage a big-money bidding war for the Broncos enforcer.
Broncos recruitment chiefs are aware of Manly’s poaching bid and will begin talks to retain their key prop.
The Broncos last week celebrated a contract coup when the management of Flegler’s front-row teammate Payne Haas advised Brisbane bosses the NSW Origin prop will honour his existing deal, which expires at the end of 2024.
But the Broncos now face a fresh headache to retain Flegler under the salary cap in the face of red-hot interest.
The hulking front-rower is contracted to Brisbane until the end of next year, meaning Flegler can head to free agency and field formal offers from Tuesday week - opening the door for NRL suitors.
And Manly are the primary threat.
It is understood the Flegler camp has held preliminary talks with the Sea Eagles, who outlined plans to table a mega six-year offer worth $675,000 a season to lure the Origin hulk to Brookvale until the end of 2027.
Manly recruitment chiefs first approached Flegler last month before the appointment of Des Hasler’s coaching successor Anthony Seibold, who mentored the 23-year-old during his stint at the Broncos in 2019-20.
The Sea Eagles have severed ties with Samoan Test prop Martin Taupau and believe Flegler can be the cornerstone of their pack for 2024 and beyond.
Former Broncos skipper Corey Parker worked with Flegler as an assistant to Seibold in 2019 and urged Brisbane hierarchy to do everything possible to keep the aggressive prop at Red Hill.
“It will be a real challenge for the Broncos to keep both Payne Haas and Flegler,” Parker said.
“If Payne wants more money in the coming years, it makes it very difficult to keep two props on big money.
“I have a huge wrap on Tom. He is aggressive, he has great leg speed, he has an offload and when you put those things together, it’s a hard mix to find in a front-rower.
“Timing is everything and Tom’s best football is ahead of him.”
While Flegler has come under fire for his lack of consistency and discipline - he has been suspended three times in the past two seasons - NRL clubs like his aggression and intimidation factor.
For that reason, they are willing to pay big bucks for Flegler.
Manly are the front-runners to secure his signature, but the fiery front-rower has also attracted interest from the Warriors and Storm, who are on the hunt for forwards to replace Dolphins-bound trio Kenny and Jesse Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi.
After a disappointing 2021 season, Flegler’s form improved this year. He charged for 1961 metres at an average of 108m per game and impressed with his toughness and ability to create second phase.
The Broncos have salary-cap challenges. Haas will become Brisbane’s highest-paid player next season on $848,000, while Brisbane have signed Flegler’s forward cohorts Pat Carrigan and Kobe Hetherington to new deals.
The club also secured boom Queensland Origin winger Selwyn Cobbo to a $1 million-plus extension in June.
Flegler is on $650,000 at the Broncos and there is a view he has failed to deliver bang for his buck. But with NRL rivals prepared to offer in excess of $700,000 a season, Brisbane may have to up the ante to keep the Australia Prime Minister’s XIII representative.
Parker is adamant Flegler, who has played 74 NRL games and one Origin match for Queensland, is worth the investment.
“On the open market, Tom is worth more than $700,000, he has played State of Origin, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if other clubs threw big money at him,” Parker said.
“Tom sails close to the wind from time to time with his discipline, but it’s not easy to find front-rowers these days with the attributes that Tom has.
“I believe Tom has a huge future. He’s had some issues with suspensions, but it’s easy to forget he is only young and if he is managed in the right way and nurtured, he can be one of the best props in the game.
“I’ve had some conversations with Tom about his suspensions. He understands what he has done wrong, but it is hard to reign a guy in sometimes because that’s what makes Tom the player that he is and gives him a point of difference.
“It’s like telling Victor Radley to pull it up a fraction, that’s what makes him such a good player.
“Tom has to find a better balance but there is no doubting his ability.
“He brings a point of difference to Payne. Haas has a great motor and a good carry, but Flegler is aggressive and brings a harder edge to the Broncos, he and Payne complement each other well.”