Canberra Raiders star Anthony Milford appears unlikely to be joining the Queensland Reds next season. Photo: Stefan Postles
The plot has thickened when it comes to the whereabouts of Anthony Milford in 2014 but an audacious switch to rugby union seems remote despite his manager putting the Queensland Reds on the table.
It had seemed the fight for the services of the young Canberra star had been between the Raiders, who are desperate to convince him to stay in the capital, and the Broncos, who would love to add his considerable talents to their books next season.
But a third contender was thrust into the conversation on Tuesday, with Milford's manager Sam Ayoub saying he had spoken to Super Rugby's Queensland Reds, while head coach Richard Graham confirmed his admiration for the skills of the dynamic 19-year-old back.
With the suggestion that the Raiders were starting to play hardball with Milford, who wants out of his contract to return to Brisbane to help care for his sick father, a shift to another code makes partial sense.
If the Raiders and new coach Ricky Stuart couldn't convince Milford to stay in Canberra, then they could release him under the proviso he doesn't go to a rival NRL club like the Broncos.
But despite Graham's clearly positive thoughts about Milford's potential, rugby sources have told Fairfax Media the chances of Milford bringing his fast feet to Ballymore for next season are slim.
The Reds were tight-lipped when approached for comment. But it is believed there has been no official contact between the parties and as of Tuesday, Milford remained well off the radar for the 2014 campaign.
Queensland are well-served in their halves with the Wallaby pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper but Milford could potentially make the switch as a rugby fullback or outside back.
But with their extended squad for 2014 virtually set in stone, the Reds are unlikely to have any room for Milford on their books, which has just been bolstered with another speedy outside back, former Waratah Lachie Turner.