Joey Manu is set to stay with the Sydney Roosters after opting against the lure of earning big money by testing his value on the open NRL market.
In one of the most significant developments in the NRL's transfer market, Manu has told the Roosters he will commit to the club until at least the end of 2024.
Manu had shaped as one of the free agents likely to attract a big deal for 2023 and beyond as a headline player rival clubs could approach from November 1.
The 25-year-old was easily the best centre available to interested clubs, while the Kiwi superstar was also eying a possible move to the fullback position.
It was expected he would have been of interest to the Warriors to replace Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, while several other clubs would likely have been willing to pay big money for his signature.
But any chances of that are now over, with Manu to stick with playing in the outside backs at the club he made his debut for in 2016.
It comes after Roosters coach Trent Robinson had long remained confident Manu's links to the club since age 17 would work in the club's favour.
The Roosters lost a similar talent in Tuivasa-Sheck to the Warriors in 2016, but Manu's allegiances have been enough to keep him in Sydney's east.
“Roger was only here for a couple of years before he left whereas Joey's been here for a long, long time now,” Robinson said in August.
“Ever since he was a kid he came over here and started playing.
“You can see what he means to us as a team. I don't need to add much more other than that he's been a Rooster, he is a Rooster and his family are Roosters as well.
“We understand that it would be mad if there wasn't interest (from elsewhere), but we definitely want to keep him as a Rooster.”
The new deal is expected to be announced soon.
Manu's decision not to look elsewhere leaves the Roosters with one of the most stable rosters in the NRL, with only seven players not locked in for 2023.Internet Explorer Channel Network