Cleary talks Origin chances
Tyrone Peachey's future at the Penrith Panthers is up in the air as he weighs up an opportunity to link with the Gold Coast Titans.
NRL.com understands Peachey, who is under contract with the Panthers until the end of 2019, has been given permission by the club to explore other options for next season and has been presented with a three-year deal with the Titans worth close to $1.6 million.
The Panthers want Peachey to stay, however they are unlikely to stand in the way of allowing him to leave, given the battle they face to retain the likes of Josh Mansour (off contract at end of 2018) and Nathan Cleary (2019) on long-term deals.
While Peachey hasn't officially signed with the Titans for 2019, NRL.com understands he is likely to agree to terms in the coming weeks.
The original discussions revolved around Peachey linking with the Titans in 2019, however those close to the Panthers utility have begun agitating for an early release.
Titans coach Garth Brennan has a very close relationship with Penrith general manager Phil Gould from their time together at the foot of the Blue Mountains and won't risk jeopardising that relationship by disrupting the premiership campaign of the club that gave him his chance.
The Panthers have given no indication Peachey will be allowed to leave the club before June 30, however further movement in the player market could result in another flurry of transfers.
"Hopefully he doesn't leave," Panthers skipper Peter Wallace told NRL.com during the club's training camp in Port Macquarie on Thursday.
"I have a massive rap on Peach and he is a good mate as well. I hope he doesn't go. He's huge for us too. If the interchanges keep going down and down, I think the utility value is going to go through the roof. I think it's going to be a key position. It's going to be vital to carry someone on the bench.
"In saying that, he's killed it at centre the last couple of years, too. We have a few blokes there who are pushing for the centre spot. We have a good little battle there. I'm sure wherever Peach plays he will do a good job."
The Titans have two spots left on their roster and have plenty of money to spend as a result of Jarryd Hayne's departure to the Parramatta Eels.
While the Panthers don't need to offload Peachey, who just finished building a house in Glenmore Park, a departure in 2019 would give the club the additional funds required to ensure Cleary remains despite the expected bid from the Wests Tigers to get the halfback to link with his father Ivan in 2020.