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Tigers drop off Foxx hunt after Storm deny Addo-Carr release

Josh Addo-Carr has been denied a release by Melbourne from the final year of contract, ending the Wests Tigers' bid to get him to their club for 2021.

The Storm on Thursday night announced he would remain at the club after discussions with the NSW winger and his agent earlier in the day.

In their statement, the Storm said his request for a release from the final year of his contract "was not an option that was possible at this time".

"Josh has accepted this decision and looks forward to returning to training with his teammates in Melbourne in January. We are delighted to have such a talented player and huge contributor to our club, as well as his partner Lakaree and young Foxx, remain with Storm for 2021."

The Tigers had earlier issued a statement "as there has been much speculation and reporting concerning Josh Addo-Carr and the club".

"Addo-Carr is a player currently contracted to the Melbourne Storm for season 2021. Having asked for a release from his contract to return to Sydney on compassionate grounds, Wests Tigers - with permission of the Melbourne Storm - entered into discussions with Josh," according to the statement.

"This resulted in an execution of a heads of agreement which provided for Addo-Carr joining Wests Tigers in 2021. This agreement was only activated upon the release of Addo-Carr from his current playing contract.

"Wests Tigers have tonight been advised by the Melbourne Storm that Addo-Carr will not be granted a release.

"Wests Tigers recognise and respect the current contractual arrangements in place between Josh Addo-Carr and Melbourne, and would not seek to interfere in same."

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Addo-Carr's agent, Mario Tartak, met Wests Tigers officials earlier on Thursday.

By staying in Melbourne for the remaining year of his contract, he will be able to consider offers from rival clubs for 2022 and beyond as a free agent.

The NSW and Australian representative is able to field offers for 2022 and will have no shortage of suitors. Canterbury had also been in the mix for his services before he had signed the heads of agreement with the Tigers.

Melbourne had insisted throughout the process that they would not release him unless they received another player in return to compensate for his loss with Bulldogs centre Reimis Smith and Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma among the established first-graders mentioned as potential Storm recruits.

Smith on Friday was granted a release by Canterbury and has linked with the Storm on a two-year deal. The 23 year-old back made 49 appearances for the club over four seasons, having made his Telstra Premiership debut in 2016.

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