MELBOURNE Storm is reportedly planning to backflip on its intention to try and bring Kieran Foran to the club in 2018.
Cooper Cronk is moving from the Victorian capital to Sydney at the end of this season to be with his fiancee, meaning coach Craig Bellamy is on the lookout for someone to fill a position in the halves.
Foran, who joined the New Zealand Warriors this season on a one-year deal, will be highly sought after among clubs looking to boost their playmaking stocks.
After missing much of last year with personal issues that led to him walking out on Parramatta, it's been reported the Kiwi international is looking to come back to Australia next year.
But it's unlikely he will end up at the Storm. NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent says while coach Craig Bellamy is interested in the 26-year-old, club officials are concerned about the drama he may bring with him following well-publicised issues including the breakdown of his marriage and his relationship with former brothel owner Eddie Hayson.
"Craig Bellamy was very keen to get Kieran Foran," Kent said. "The Melbourne hierarchy sat down and they've got concerns based on all the stuff that's happened in the past 18 months off-field. It's nothing to do with his football.
"They've spent so much time and energy building the brand down there, they don't really want to put it at risk by bringing Foran in and having it all blow up in their face."
Kent also said Foran's family commitments may deter him from joining Melbourne. "My understanding is that Kieran's custody issues with his ex-partner and children have been sorted out, which for him to get the required custody, requires him to be in Sydney," he said.
Prior to this news, Melbourne fullback Billy Slater said Foran was the perfect candidate to replace Cronk.
"Of the guys that are off contract ... probably a Kieran Foran," Slater responded when asked on Channel Nine's Footy Show about who should replace Cronk. "I think he would suit the style of play down in Melbourne.
"Just the directness that he plays with would certainly suit our style of football as well."
However, if Melbourne is out of the frame, that opens the door for other teams - such as Newcastle - to snatch Foran up. The Knights have reportedly launched a bid to sign him as he met with coach Nathan Brown on the weekend.
Foran travelled from Canberra to the NSW Central Coast to discuss the prospect of leaving the Warriors after Saturday's loss to the Raiders.
But Brown said he was none the wiser about Foran's intentions after the weekend meeting.
"We met up on the Central Coast and had a chat," Brown told News Corp. "But honestly, whether living in Newcastle is a genuine option for Kieran, I don't know."
Foran has also been linked to a reunion with former Manly coach Des Hasler at Canterbury.
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