Mitchell Pearce tug-of-war hots up
The battle for Mitchell Pearce's signature will heat up on Wednesday with the halfback to visit the Cronulla Sharks' facilities and his manager to meet the Newcastle Knights about a potential deal worth close to a million dollars a season.
NRL.com understands Knights legends Andrew and Matthew Johns have been in regular contact with Pearce in a bid to lure the NSW halfback to the Hunter in a potential deal that will give Newcastle their best No.7 since Andrew Johns himself.
The Manly Sea Eagles, who Pearce has already visited, are also in the race but, like the Sharks, haven't been able to get close to what the Knights are willing to fork out.
Pearce, who has already met with Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan, will on Wednesday get a tour of the club's facilities as he weighs up his future in the hope of making a decision by the end of this week.
Pearce's manager, Steve Gillis, will travel to Newcastle to attend to a number of matters – none more important than Pearce's future.
The Knights are desperate to land Pearce but want to make sure he wants to join the rebuilding club for the right reasons.
Pearce has a good understanding of the plans each team and coach has for him but is yet to see a formal offer despite being provided an indication of the contract value at the respective clubs.
While Pearce has a relationship with Manly coach Trent Barrett from their playing days together for NSW in State of Origin, he's also being heavily courted by Andrew Johns, who worked with Pearce as the halves coach at the Sydney Roosters last year.
It is understood Pearce is genuinely torn and remains undecided as he contemplates whether he wants to make the lifestyle change required by making the move to Newcastle.