We love these sorts of rumours.
Not content with the standard “Team X interested in Player Y” scuttlebutt, The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield has gone all-out with his latest rumour (granted, Rothfield doesn’t get a lot of run on this site – for good reason – but this gem is too good to pass up).
According to Rothfield, the Sharks are a “50/50” chance of signing departing Storm halfback Cooper Cronk for next year; and if they’re successful, they’ll release five-eighth James Maloney to the Knights on a million-dollar per season deal.
“If Cronulla can get him, Maloney will be released to go to Newcastle,” Rothfield said. “…the Knights would be offering him a million dollars, and he’s on about $600,000 at Cronulla.”
“But Shane Flanagan can’t release him until he has a commitment from Cronk.”
“I do know (Flanagan) rings his manager George Mimis once a week. I would say it is probably 50/50.”
This does jive with rumours that have been reported previously. Last month, 7 Sport reported the Sharks were interested in Cronk, while Knights coach Nathan Brown said last week that if Cronk signed in Sydney it “will force a bit of movement“, and “be great for us anyway”.
Assuming that it’s true that Flanagan is in close contact with Cronk’s agent (and has yet to stop calling), it suggests that Cronk does indeed remain at least some chance of playing on in 2017.
It would certainly add a whole new level to the rapidly building Sharks/Storm rivalry.