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Nathan Cleary agrees to long-term Panthers contract

EXCLUSIVE

Penrith will secure Nathan Cleary's services at the club until at least the end of 2023, with the halfback agreeing to remain at the Panthers beyond the end of his current deal.

Cleary, who had been waiting until the end of the season to commit his future to Penrith, is expected to sit down with the club in the next 48 hours to sign a multi-year deal.

It is understood the Panthers will upgrade Cleary's final year of his current deal next year, while extending his contract for at least another four seasons on a deal that would make him the highest paid player in the club.

The NSW halfback was reluctant to walk way from his friends at Penrith, despite the appeal of linking with his father Ivan at the Wests Tigers.

The Tigers were unable to officially offer Cleary a contract for 2020 and beyond, with the 20-year-old declining the opportunity to hit the open market from November 1.

There's also a strong belief the Panthers are on the brink of winning a premiership, with caretaker coach Cameron Ciraldo likely to continue as head coach when the club returns for pre-season training in November.

Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary.
Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Cleary has enjoyed a 58.6 per cent success rate since breaking into the NRL as a teenager in 2016, and has also helped NSW to a rare series victory in his maiden campaign with the Blues this year.

Penrith are yet to make an official statement on Cleary's future.

The Panthers bowed out of the finals last Friday night after a dramatic 21-20 loss to Cronulla.