Rugby League 30 Mar 12 @ 04:45pm by Peter Peters PREMIERS Manly are in a juggling match from hell right now with five balls in the air and the ability under the strict salary cap guidelines to be only able to catch and retain three balls. This is the up to date scenario for Manly fans as the side prepares for what everyone is deeming a dangerous clash with desperate last placed Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium tonight. Coach Geoff Toovey and Football manager Steve Gigg are up to their necks in negotiations on an almost daily basis with player managers hell bent on securing the best deals possible for their players. It is common knowledge that Manly have a host of star players coming off contracts. I am zeroing in on the five big guns in no order of preferenceâ€¦...they are in my opinion the main priorities in the eyes and minds of fans and management. The balls in the air and hovering have the names of Brett Stewart, Tony Williams, Kieran Foran, Steve Matai and Matt Ballin on them. Four internationals and an Origin representative and all premiership winning performers. All have indicated they want to remain at the club and the coach wants them all to remain in maroon and white. Realistically it canâ€™t and wonâ€™t happen. That means there is a weird game of Russian Roulette going on at the moment.It started with the signing of Daly Cherry-Evans last week. That took petrol out of the player tank and as each player comes to terms there will be less juice and players will be forced to look elsewhere. Williams and Foran are massively in demand from other clubs.They can ask for and easily get well over $450,000 a season. They are internationals in their early 20â€™s and proven match winners. It is becoming increasingly clear that perhaps Manly will struggle to keep both. Stewart is saying little but I can reveal that cashed up supporters have contacted me offering arranging third party deals - allowable under the rules of the NRL - to retain the Prince of Brookvale. I passed the contact onto Stewartâ€™s management and hopefully something positive can eventuate to keep Stewart at Brookvale where he remains a magnet for fans.Stewart and his brother Glenn decided when they were coming through the ranks under the influence of Steve Menzies that they would if possible like to be one club players. They also learnt a hard edge in that even a Menzies had a used by date as a player and that wonderful service means little at the end of a career. If Glenn Stewart was on the open market at the moment he would command more than $500,000 a season. Tony Williams manager Issac Moses had a further meeting with Toovey and Gigg last Wednesday and while no decision was made on the big manâ€™s future it is clear that other clubs are knocking the door down to sign the juggernaut. The Dogs and Eels are leading the charge but Manly arenâ€™t out of the running. Williams is keen to work hard during the remaining six weeks of his suspension to come back in the right shape to impress NSW Origin coach Ricky Stuart and his Manly team mates. Foran is the joker in the pack. Admired greatly by his team mates he is a player of great courage and humility. In a nutshell he is vital to the future of the club. Opposition clubs know they can rip the heart out of Manly if they can snare him. It is the old Ken Arthurson way - take a champion out of a champion team to strengthen your own chances and weaken the enemy. He did it in 1972 with John Oâ€™Neill and Ray Branighan from Souths and an instant first premiership for Manly followed. Foran is a special player and would demand the number six jersey in 95 per cent of the teams in the premiership. Players like him at his age donâ€™t come along that often. It is imperative that Manly sign him long term but his manager George Mimis is the best in the business and will use Foranâ€™s get out trigger to the maximum. I donâ€™t want to think about the prospect of Foran playing against Manly ! And the heart and soul players Steve Matai and Matt Ballin have almost been pushed into the background in all the discussion about players. Matai is full on body on the line in every game and a hard man opposition players have nightmares about. But he is also a much under rated attacking player and outstanding team man admired greatly by his team mates. Matt Ballin is the glue in the middle for Manly.He tackles and plays his heart out in every match and is the player some clubs take for granted simply because of his amazing consistency. His work rate is highlighted on the rare occasion that he misses a game. They may not demand the going rate of Stewart,Williams and Foran but Matai and Ballin arenâ€™t that far behind in terms of what they can get from other clubs. Throw in young talent off contract like Darcy Lussick and the arithmetics simply canâ€™t and wonâ€™t add up. Average six players at a conservative $400,000 a season and the $2.4 million is a huge hunk out of the salary cap. The puzzle will evolve quickly in the next few weeks but take a long hard look at the 2012 team photo because the champion team is about to have a changed look. Unlike some I am not willing to sheet the blame anywhere. It is a fact of life in modern day Rugby League that the salary cap hits the top teams hardest. Itâ€™s why we havenâ€™t seen a back to back winner for a long time. Geoff Tooveyâ€™s 2012 side is capable of doing just that if the side can be close to full strength come finals time. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/sport/story/stars-wont-align/ I spotted this but I don't know if has been posted before, BE is usually posting news articles. I can't get the submit article to work so apologies Dan.