Bidding war for Jarome Luai expected after NRL Grand Final

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
27/09/2023
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Jerome Luai bidding war coming soon

Multiple clubs are interested in acquiring Panthers’ Jerome Luai following the expiration of his contract on November 1.

News Insights

  • Jerome Luai’s contract expires November 1.
  • Multiple clubs are interested in Luai.
  • Panthers can only offer $800,000 per season.
  • Luai focused on October 1 NRL Grand Final.

Penrith Panthers player Jerome Luai is nearing the end of his contract. The five-eighth is reportedly wanted by multiple NRL teams who are desperate and willing to pay over the odds for a player of his quality. Luai and the Panthers negotiations are set to restart negotiations following their NRL Grand Final matchup against the Brisbane Broncos on Sunday.

Luai could become a million-dollar man

The 2023 NRL offseason is poised to be one of the most exciting in recent history. NRL experts believe there are many clubs willing to spend big in the offseason, especially on positions where talent is thin in the league. Jarome Luai is a player skilled at two of these thin positions; five-eighth and halfback. 

Because Luai’s talents are so in demand, many people are expecting clubs to throw huge amounts of money at him. This is an unfortunate reality for the Penrith Panthers who reportedly can only offer Luai a four-year contract worth up to $800,000 per season. Some reports even claim the Panthers are unable to go higher than $700,000. 

Other NRL clubs, such as the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, and St. George Illawarra Dragons are willing to spend upwards of $1,000,000 per season. Some sources even claim there are teams willing to spend as much as $1.2 million per year on Luai. 

Bank account vs. heart for Luai

If reports are to be believed, Luai could make upwards of $2,000,000 more by choosing to leave Panthers instead of staying at his current club. For some, this decision would be an easy one. However, many sources close to Luai say he is not one who will just chase the money. 

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary told the Sydney Morning Herald that he expects Luai to stay at Panthers. “He belongs with us, we belong with him – it’s a good fit,” said Clearly before adding “It’s like a lot of our boys: if he really wanted to get as much money as he wanted to [go elsewhere], he would probably get it. But I think we can come up with something that’s very good for him. It’s a good fit.”

Luai has been a Panthers player for his entire career and is reportedly very close to the club, its fans, and the local community. Daily Telegraph journalist Phil Rothfield believes this is enough to keep Luai at Panthers for another four years. 

He’s just bought a house in Penrith, a lovely family home. I have a feeling he’ll take a reasonable haircut to stay because he’s guaranteed success at that organisation not for one or two years but probably for the next six or seven,” said Rothfield on Fox Sports' NRL 360 show.

NRL Grand Final take focus for Luai and Panthers

The Panthers will play in their fourth consecutive NRL Grand Final this Sunday against Brisbane Broncos at Stadium Australia in Sydney. These clubs were the best two teams in the NRL Premiership Season, so it is sure to be an exciting match. 

For Luai and Panthers, this match is all that matters. Reports say Luai pulled out of negotiations to focus on the NRL Grand Final. The club obliged his request. Negotiations are set to restart sometime next week following the NRL Grand Final. November 1 is the soft deadline for the parties as that is when Luai’s contract with Panthers officially expires. 

The Painters are slight favourites to win the NRL Grand Final at most betting sites. Whatever the outcome ends up being, Luai’s contract saga will surely dominate the headlines in the weeks after the match.