Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Joseph Manu of the Sydney Roosters is one of the game’s most valuable players, not only because he is the best centre in the NRL, but also because he can make a seamless transition into both the fullback and five-eighth positions.
Manu’s talent is seemingly about to spark a bidding war for his services beyond 2022, as reports emerged recently that the New Zealand Warriors had been in contact with the Sydney Roosters to let the tricolours know that they would be putting an offer on the table for the 25-year-old’s services on November 1st.
This led to further speculation that the Warriors are set to offer Manu a multi-million dollar deal and that they intend to play him at five-eighth.
However, another team has come into the equation this morning as The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie is reporting that the Gold Coast Titans are interested in acquiring Manu from the Roosters in 2023.
“There’s some internal interest at the Gold Coast,” Ritchie told the Big Sports Breakfast.
“Is he worth $1 million? They think he might be worth around $900,000 or $950,000.”
Speculation that Titans half and current million dollar man Ash Taylor is off to Canberra next season made headlines yesterday, so the Titans would likely be using most of the cap space freed up by his exit for Manu.
At the moment, Manu’s best position at the Titans would be in the centres, as the club currently has a Queensland Origin representative at fullback in AJ Brimson, and a potential long-term halves pairing in Jamal Fogarty and young Toby Sexton.
The question then becomes, should the Titans be throwing the kitchen sink at Manu if he is to be played in the centres?
Yes, considering how the Hamilton native has excelled in three key positions and will likely receive a big offer from the Warriors, the Titans will just about have to part any amount they can to secure Manu.
Unfortunately, even if the Titans do offer Manu a lucrative deal to move to the Gold Coast in 2023, a move to the Warriors on the same money would be more beneficial to the New Zealand International.
If the recent reports are to be believed, then at the Warriors Joseph Manu would be earning at least $1,000,000 per season, have first crack at the five-eighth role and be able to move back home to New Zealand, while at the Titans he would earn around the same amount, but have a lesser opportunity to move positions.