The Sydney Roosters will sign off on Michael Jennings' release in the next 48 hours, freeing up the NSW centre to join Parramatta on a four-year deal later this week.
Fairfax Media understands the Roosters and Eels have agreed to terms over Jennings' transfer and are waiting on the NRL to rubber-stamp the deal.
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The Roosters, who have landed Broncos centre Dale Copley as Jennings' replacement, are yet to sign off on the 27-year-old's release as the Eels finalise the remaining details of his contract.But it is understood the NRL is satisfied with the terms of his deal at Parramatta, which will allow Jennings to put pen to paper potentially as early as Monday.
Given Jennings still has a year to run on his deal with the tri-colours, the Roosters will fork out some of Jennings' contract in 2016, allowing the Eels to fit him in the salary cap for this season.However with his contract to increase in the final three years, the Eels may need to offload some players at the end of this season to ensure they don't breach the salary cap.
The Eels are also likely to part ways with prop Pauli Pauli - linked with the Knights - to squeeze Jennings into the roster for this year.
The Sydney Roosters are also clearing space in their salary cap, identifying half Jackson Hastings and backrower Boyd Cordner - both of whom are off contract at the end of 2016 - as priority signings.The pick-up of Jennings is a major boost for the Eels, who lost centre Will Hopoate to arch-rivals Canterbury in the offseason.
Jennings, who spent three years at the Roosters after he was released from his junior club Penrith, got married in the off-season and is living in Sydney's western suburbs.The 27-year-old joins fellow representative stars Kieran Foran, Beau Scott and Michael Gordon in blue and gold this year as the Eels search to reach the top eight for the first time since 2009.
The signing of Jennings, who scored 44 tries in 71 matches for the Roosters, comes at a significant time for the club, having just appointed interim boss John Boulous as the full-time chief executive.Boulous, who was Parramatta's chief operating officer during Scott Seward's 22-month tenure as chief executive, is part of the club's newly formed recruitment and retention committee, playing a significant part in luring the Origin and Test centre to the club.
Outside of barnstorming winger Semi Radradra, the Eels struggled for attacking flair in their backline last season. But with Jennings, Gordon and Manly junior Clint Gutherson at their disposal, the Eels now possess one of the most exciting backlines in the competition.It was James Roberts' departure from the Gold Coast that started this player merry-go-round.The 24-year-old Copley was squeezed out of Red Hill after Wayne Bennett snapped up the former Titans speedster as the replacement to the now retired Justin Hodges.Copley joined the Broncos in 2009 and proved himself as a noted try scorer, crossing for 31 tries in his 72 appearances for the Broncos.