Cronulla join the chase for Moylan
THE Sharks have ramped up their pursuit of Matt Moylan in the hope the representative star will be granted a release from the Panthers.
Despite a host of clubs circling Moylan should he hit the open market, Cronulla have rolled out the red carpet in a bid to reignite their premiership ambitions.
Moylan, 26, who is contracted until the end of 2021, has been reported to be interested in joining Trent Barrett at Manly should the Panthers decide to sever ties.
But the Sharks’ interest has only intensified since Penrith were bundled out of the finals by Brisbane last week as they look to add to their playmaking stocks.
Moylan’s potential arrival at Cronulla would allow the Sharks the option to grant James Maloney a release and chase a more lucrative deal elsewhere, while providing coach Shane Flanagan with a ready-made replacement who could still have his best years in front of him.
But the Panthers are trying to manage Moylan’s situation, which saw the five-eighth battle a hamstring complaint late in the season before being granted leave on the eve of the finals series.
Moylan and his management haven’t asked for a release and there are no guarantees they will do so, despite his apparently strained relationship with coach Anthony Griffin, who has demanded his captain put more emphasis on his injury rehabilitation.
Griffin went as far to say Moylan’s inclusion for the clash with the Broncos wouldn’t have had a huge influence on the result, despite Penrith losing rookie No 6 Tyrone May to a longterm knee injury in the first half.
Moylan is said to be working through his issues with the Panthers, but is no guarantee to be there when pre-season training begins in November after struggling with the captaincy.
The Sharks are desperate to correct their disappointing fade out in their title defence, bowing out against the Cowboys in controversial circumstances. And they see Moylan as a key piece of that puzzle with room to move under the salary cap.
Chad Townsend is locked up beyond next year, Flanagan’s son Kyle is on the brink of an NRL call-up and Valentine Holmes steadily made the transition to the No 1, while Maloney’s future is up in the air.
Moylan could reunite with Penrith old boys Wade Graham, Luke Lewis and James Segeyaro in the Shire and help regenerate a Sharks roster that has been underpinned by hard heads Paul Gallen, Chris Heighington and Lewis in recent years. The Sun-Herald