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Exclusive: Final blow rocks Manly star's World Cup dream – TalkOfNews.com

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Manly’s exit from the finals race last week has ended Tom Trbojevic’s dream of returning to play this season and make a late bid for Australia’s World Cup team.

The star fullback suffered what was thought to be a season-ending shoulder injury in round 11, but two weeks ago declared his rehab was going well and he was eyeing a shock return before year’s end.

But Manly will now tell Turbo to just concentrate on getting himself right for 2023.

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The brilliant fullback may still have been a chance at selection for the World Cup in England in October and November, but Manly don’t want him to risk injuring himself again.

One of the game’s genuine match-winners, Trbojevic was superb last season, winning the Dally M Medal, and started this year strongly before his shoulder was dislocated in an awkward tackle.

PANTHER LOOKING FOR OUTSIDE OPPORTUNITY

The most talked about player in rugby league this week – young Panthers utility Jaeman Salmon – is in danger of being lost to the club at the end of the season.

But his likely exit has nothing to do with Ricky Stuart’s epic spray in the press conference after Penrith’s win over Canberra.

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It all comes down to opportunity – like Sean O’Sullivan, Salmon has had a frustrating time playing behind the Panthers’ gun halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai.

O’Sullivan saw the writing on the wall and signed with the Dolphins for next year, while Salmon is a free agent and has been in talks with at least one rival Sydney-based club.

TIGERS PLAY HARDBALL OVER STAR

Tigers fans are probably feeling nervous after star signing Isaiah Papali’i appeared to consider back-tracking on his deal to join the club in media interviews on Monday.

“I’ve got a season to finish off and then I can worry about all that after,” he said.

“When it does come time to have that talk (with the Tigers), we’ll definitely have that talk behind the scenes.”

But the Tigers are prepared to play hardball to ensure Papali’i honours the deal he signed, which has been registered with the NRL.

The club has let three backrowers go for next season to be able to afford Papali’i and if he doesn’t come, their pack will be a shambles.

For that reason alone, the Tigers won’t even consider releasing the powerhouse forward.

Star considers backflip on Tigers

FLYER LINKED TO KNIGHTS MOVE

There’s been plenty of talk linking former Eels tryscoring sensation Bevan French to Newcastle next season, but Wigan won’t let the speedy utility go without a fight.

French wants to return to Australia after four years in England where he has proved himself a fan favourite.

Last month, he set a new Super League record by scoring seven tries during a 60-0 win over Hull FC.

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Wigan will throw more money at French than the Knights are prepared to pay, leaving him with the old dilemma – money or happiness.

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Exclusive: Panthers Sign Kicker Eddy Piñeiro After Injury To Zane Gonzalez – TalkOfNews.com

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Exclusive: Grundy urged to make 'ridiculous' move for Pies – TalkOfNews.com

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Collingwood star Brodie Grundy has been urged to renegotiate his monster contract if he wants to remain at the club beyond this season.

Grundy has been left in an awkward position this year, sidelined with a knee injury at first before suffering an ankle injury in his comeback attempt which ended his season as the Magpies rocketed up the ladder into the top four.

Despite the 28-year-old being signed through until the end of the 2027 season, his name has consistently been thrown up in trade rumours, with the club reportedly keen to offload his hefty seven-year, $7 million deal signed at the end of 2019.

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Grundy is understood to be keen on remaining at Collingwood where he shares close ties with a number of teammates. But according to The Age’s Caroline Wilson, to stay a Magpie, he will have to sacrifice.

“If he really wants to stay at Collingwood, he’s narrowed his options, he’s got to take a pay cut. They’ve got to sit down, the two parties,” she told Nine’s Footy Classified.

“I know they offered him a ridiculous amount of money at the time, and at the time it seemed worth it, but both parties have to come to the table here.

“He hasn’t been able to deliver on the money.”

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Wilson’s suggestion was rubbished by The Age’s Sam McClure.

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“That’s ridiculous, Caro,” he said in response.

“Why would Brodie Grundy walk away from one cent of the money that he was promised because Collingwood mismanaged the salary cap?”

McClure was backed up by Essendon great Matthew Lloyd, who said Grundy would either remain at Collingwood or play at another club for the “full amount” of his deal rather than taking a pay cut.

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Exclusive: Exclusive: Fabrizio Romano rules out two players as Liverpool’s midfielder search enters key stage – TalkOfNews.com

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Exclusive: Fabrizio Romano rules out two players as Liverpool’s midfielder search enters key stage

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Liverpool are struggling with injuries, particularly to senior midfielders and that has prompted Jurgen Klopp to reassess his summer transfer business.

Thiago, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all sidelined through injury and that has forced the Reds to make a major transfer U-turn.

Despite being adamant his side does not need to delve back into the transfer market in search of a new midfielder, Klopp recently admitted he has changed his mind.

“We are looking for it,” Klopp told reporters, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“If it is the right player, we need him. If it is not the right player, we don’t need him.”

However, given the fact the summer window closes in just over 24 hours, Liverpool are facing a race against time when it comes to the possibility of adding a new player to their squad.

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Providing an update on the club’s efforts, leading transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, who writes exclusively for CaughtOffside via Substack, said: “The club do not want to sign just any player for the sake of it, so they are still putting in a lot of work trying to identify the right kind of player.

“However, even though they’re continuing to do their research, at the moment, there are no easy options.”

Two players who have been heavily linked with moves to Anfield have been RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer and Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella, but Romano has now ruled out deals for both midfielders.

“Konrad Laimer was appreciated but RB Leipzig will not let him leave now, so Liverpool will have to explore other names from now until tomorrow night’s deadline,” the Italian added.

“I know a lot of you want to know if Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella is an option, but unfortunately, he is not. There is no chance for the Italian to move to Anfield this summer.”

Do you think Liverpool can make a midfield signing in time? – Let us know in the comments.

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