UPDATED: The Penrith Panthers have refuted claims they may add Tevita Pangai Jr to their roster, declaring the move made “no sense”.
Pangai is expected to formally ink his three-year $2.2 million deal with the Bulldogs today but it was reported that the Broncos fielded an offer from Penrith to secure the forward on a three-month deal before he moved to Belmore.
Reports claimed Penrith had been in touch with Brisbane in the lead up to their clash on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, but Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said the club canvassed the idea “weeks ago”.
“We had a chat with his agent several weeks ago, he is a quality player but it made no sense. We have an excellent roster,” Fletcher told Nine’s Danny Weidler.
According to News Corp, the NRL’s salary cap auditor blocked Penrith’s move because the club was unable to match the monetary value set by the NRL for Pangai for the rest of the year.
Penrith have a spot left on their full-time roster and it was reported that if they created enough cap space – and the Broncos agreed to an early release – Pangai Jr could have made the switch before the August 1 deadline. That now won’t happen.
New Canterbury football boss Phil Gould was integral in Pangai Jr’s decision to leave Brisbane for Canterbury, although the 25-year-old was very close to signing with western Sydney rivals Wests Tigers.
It’s understood Pangai Jr was on the verge of agreeing to a deal with the Tigers last month, only for the deal to crumble after Tigers officials reportedly got cold feet.
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