Manly back-rower Glenn Stewart is still waiting on an offer from the Sea Eagles as he edges closer to finishing his career at another club.
Sea Eagles officials and Stewart's manager Mike Newton are due to meet this week in a bid to resolve the former Test forward's future with the club, but Fairfax Media has been told Manly may not be in a position to table a competitive bid.
Standing his ground: Glenn Stewart wants Manly to put their best offer on the table. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Manly chief executive David Perry has approached the NRL seeking flexibility in the salary cap to enable the Sea Eagles to make a realistic offer to Stewart.
However, it is understood the two parties are yet to discuss a figure as Manly want Stewart to say how much he would require to extend his 12-year stint with the club and Newton wants the Sea Eagles to put forward their best offer.
With Daly Cherry-Evans – a member of Australia's World Cup-winning team at Old Trafford last November – off contract next year, re-signing the star halfback before rival clubs can approach him at the end of this season is believed to be Manly's No.1 priority.
It is understood that Stewart is yet to speak to rival clubs but if he does decide to put himself on the transfer market, Canterbury, St George Illawarra and Canberra are all expected to be interested in the 30-year-old.
While Manly's five-eighth Kieran Foran was quite vocal in recent weeks and expressed his support for Stewart to receive a new deal because of the loyalty he'd shown the club over the years, he said the Test forward's contract situation had not contributed to the team's mixed start to the season.
"It happens at every club," he said. "We're just letting the off-field stuff take care of itself and we're just concentrating on our footy.
"I don't think it is a distraction; everyone is professional enough to get on with their job and we know we've just got to get the wins up at this time of the year.
"You'd like to see it put to bed but these things take time, all contract negotiations always seem to drag out a little bit. It would be nice if something got sorted but, like I said, at the end of the day we're professionals, we know what we need to do we're not really looking into it too much."
Foran would not add to speculation that should Stewart be forced to leave the Sea Eagles his brother, star fullback Brett, would most likely follow him.
"I can't really answer that, I'm not too sure," he said. "They're very tight brothers, as thick as they come, but Brett is signed on to 2016 so I don't think so."
Forward Justin Horo said he had not concerned himself with Stewart's negotiations out of "respect".
"I was off contract myself last year and I would not want other players involved in it," he said. "So I give them the respect of getting involved in those issues as well."