Doubt grows over Hayne’s Parramatta future
PARRAMATTA could start their NRL pre-season without star Jarryd Hayne as contract negotiations look set to continue into the summer.
Barely a month has passed since the grand final, but the Eels will be one of the first clubs to begin preparations for the 2019 campaign when they start training next Thursday.
Whether Hayne will join them is questionable, with Parramatta chief executive Bernie Gurr suggesting the parties were unlikely to strike a deal by next week.
"I don't think it's imminent in the next few days. It wouldn't be in the next few days," Burr said on Thursday.
"We're still talking to Jarryd. We've obviously expressed our desire, and let that be known publicly that we'd like Jarryd to stay at our club.
"But there's a few issues to work through before we cross that bridge."
Gurr's comments came just days after the former NFL convert was linked with a possible move to St George Illawarra.
Pressed on whether the club would like Hayne's future to be sorted out before day one of pre-season, Gurr said: "Obviously we would, but that's perfect-world stuff.
"Sometimes that doesn't happen, but I can guarantee you we're continuing to work through the process."
With their new Western Sydney Stadium scheduled to open in April, the Eels are expected to improve after finishing with the wooden spoon this season.
Coach Brad Arthur heads into the final year of his contract under pressure, but will be helped by key signings Blake Ferguson and Junior Paulo.
Gurr said it was critical the Eels showed signs of life next year.
"Let's not sugarcoat a bitter pill. We had a very poor season last year," he said.
"We're doing everything behind the scenes on our football program to make sure we give Brad the staff and players all the resources they need to be successful."