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Tigers set to grant Matterson permission to negotiate as Titans option looms

The Wests Tigers are set to grant Ryan Matterson permission to negotiate with rival clubs, as his position at the club becomes almost untenable.

Tigers officials and players are furious with the way Matterson has conducted himself over the past few weeks and are bracing themselves to part ways with the 24-year-old forward.

Matterson's management requested to negotiate with clubs last week, and the Tigers will grant him formal permission to do so in the coming days.

It comes as the Gold Coast looms as a potential destination for the disgruntled forward, who has a close affiliation with incoming coach Justin Holbrook during their time together at the Sydney Roosters.

Holbrook was instrumental in luring Matterson from Parramatta to the Roosters, making him captain of the under 20s team he coached.

Matterson and Holbrook are managed by the Orr brothers.

The Tigers are aware of interest in Matterson north of the border, however won’t agree to releasing him to any club unless they reach a favourable outcome.

The club is in the process of drawing up a hit list of targets to replace Matterson.

Wests Tigers backrower Ryan Matterson.
Wests Tigers backrower Ryan Matterson. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The joint venture is on the lookout for a fullback and would entertain a swap deal for AJ Brimson.

The Titans, who declined to comment on potentially signing Matterson, are trying to free up space in their salary cap for next season, with several players being shopped to rival clubs.

The option of placing a transfer fee on Matterson’s release has also been discussed.

The Tigers showed last year, through the way they handled the Ivan Cleary saga, that they would only release someone if they benefited from it.

That came in the form of a $250,000 compensation pay-out.

The other option for Matterson is understood to be Parramatta, with the Eels keeping a close eye on things between the Tigers and the potential future representative player.

Matterson, who was 18th man for NSW during this year's State of Origin series, has been a no-show at training the past few days, granted leave by the club to sort out personal issues.

The club also provided him with support to deal with those issues, despite their frustrations with the situation.

Matterson still has two more years to run on his deal worth around $350,000 a season.

The club has been dealing with Matterson on this issue for almost two months, when concerns were first raised about the forward’s feelings towards coach Michael Maguire.

Club officials also believe the events that have unfolded over the past weeks are part of a push for more money.

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