Parramatta have put in an upgraded offer to skipper Clint Gutherson to keep him at the club beyond 2019.
NRL.com understands the Eels, who held a recruitment and retention meeting last Thursday to discuss his future, have decided to up the offer they originally put to Gutherson before Christmas.
The Eels decided last week that they would revise the original offer, however wanted to wait until after Sunday’s match against the Raiders before tabling the new deal.
The club on Monday made contact with Gutherson’s manager, Sam Ayoub, who is expected to meet with his client in the coming days to discuss the new deal.
The Eels, whose original offer was around $500,000 a season, have been impressed with Gutherson’s start to the season and believe their desire to keep him at the club is reflected in the new multi-year deal.
Gutherson joined NRL.com’s Inside the NRL show from Bankwest Stadium on Monday before the club put forward the upgraded deal, admitting he requested to be kept out of discussions until negotiations progressed.
"I’ve just got to leave that up to Sam," Gutherson said.
"He’ll take care of that. I said just call me when there’s something there and I haven’t heard from him yet. I’ll just let it play out and keep playing some good footy.
Episode 7 - Bankwest Stadium special
"I make it into a joke at training. It is a game. Everyone knows what’s happening behind the scenes. I just have to keep playing footy and enjoying my footy."
The club met last week to discuss some reservations about assigning a large chunk of their salary cap to a player who has had two ruptured ACLs in his young career.
While no one at the club can deny Gutherson’s work ethic, commitment and desire to helping Parramatta return to finals football, they believe his potential is capped given the limitations his injuries have placed on his body.
In the past the Eels have often splashed the cash to keep or lure players to the club, however new management is determined to spend responsibly, but also ensure the players at the club want to be there for the right reasons - not just the money.