Wests Tigers prop Zane Musgrove has knocked back a lucrative offer from St George Illawarra to re-sign under Michael Maguire for another three seasons.
Musgrove's retention continues a summer of wheeling and dealing at Concord, with David Nofoaluma's retention talks ramping up after a three-year offer was also tabled to the popular flyer.
The club's salary cap is the healthiest it has been during Maguire's tenure, with Brisbane paying a portion of Joe Ofahengaue's 2021 salary, Josh Reynolds moving to Super League and Josh Aloiai being released to Manly. The Tigers also picked up James Roberts for around $150,000 on a one-year deal.
Reynolds's exit has left the joint-venture with significant salary cap space to target a potential marquee player down the line.
But at this stage club officials have indicated to NRL.com that former Dragons captain Gareth Widdop is not on the joint-venture's radar, with an outside back their priority.
Zane Musgrove re-signs with Wests Tigers
Musgrove's decision to remain in the face of significant interest from the Dragons comes with a two-year extension for Maguire close to being formalised.
The 24-year-old forward paid tribute to the Tigers coach, who once gave him a dressing down in the stands at Erskinville Oval when a teenaged Musgrove skipped his TAFE course to attend Rabbitohs training.
Maguire ended up giving Musgrove his debut at South Sydney before backing him through off-field incidents - the NRL refused to register his initial Tigers contract due to assault charges that were later overturned by the court.
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"I’m really happy to re-sign — I feel at home with Wests Tigers," Musgrove said in a club statement.
"I feel like such a big part of this club and really want to build this to something special.
"I also feel really thankful to Madge and the club for sticking by me.
"That was a big part of me staying and I can’t wait to get on the field and contribute to this club again."
Musgrove played just six games in 2020 due to a foot injury but has been rated highly by Maguire and Tigers officials for some time.
"I’m really happy to see Zane re-sign with the club for another three years," Maguire said.
"I know how hard Zane has had to work to get to this point in his career and I have no doubt that his best football is still ahead of him.
"Zane’s presence and leadership around the organisation has grown a lot in the past few years, and he has a tremendous hunger to be successful in all that he does — constantly raising the standards of himself and those around him.
"He is a player with a great work ethic who adds a lot to our side overall and I’m looking forward to watching him develop for many years to come."