Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Since making the move from St Helens to the NRL in 2020, Luke Thompson has arguably been the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs’ best player, but his time at the club could soon be coming to an end.
This may be a shock to hear for those who know how instrumental the 26-year-old has been for the Bulldogs, but the club has reportedly given him permission to speak to rival clubs.
“The big one now at the moment is Luke Thompson – he’s been given permission to negotiate,” he told The Australian’s Brent Read told Triple M.
“He was at the centre of a huge bidding war between the Warriors and Bulldogs when he was first coming to Australia.
“He got a huge pay packet as a result of that – we’re talking $800-900 thousand, he’s on huge dollars.
“Canterbury have gotten to the point where they’ve given him permission to look around.”
It seems that Thompson is already attracting potential suitors as well, as Read reports that the Tigers and Cowboys are both displaying an interest.
“Wests Tigers are obviously one of the clubs that are interested in him,” he said.
“I’m hearing the Cowboys are watching it very closely as well. They will assess over the weekend whether they make a play for Luke Thompson.
“It will come down to a large extent to money and how much Canterbury are willing to chip in to supplement a deal.
“Cowboys have obviously missed out on Dale Finucane, so they’ve got some money up their sleeve and are looking for a player of that sort of quality.”
The Wests Tigers would likely be interested in signing Thompson as a starting replacement for captain James Tamou, who would likely have to relinquish that role, with many praising the leadership qualities of Adam Doueihi in recent weeks.
North Queensland are also desperate for a forward, as their pack has been lacking for several years now, excluding Jason Taumalolo.
In 2021, Thompson scored three tries, made 36 tackle breaks, 763.1 post-contact metres, averaged 141 running metres per game and made 490 tackles for an efficiency rate of 94.6%.