Dogs, Eels ready to battle over Mortimer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs, Eels ready to battle over Mortimer

By Steve Jancetic 17/02/2010 08:46:50 PM Comments (0)

With chequebooks at the ready, NRL rivals Parramatta and Canterbury have welcomed revelations from gun playmaker Daniel Mortimer that he wants his long-term playing future decided before the start of the 2010 season.

Eels chief executive Paul Osborne and Bulldogs counterpart Todd Greenberg said they were both ready to sit down for talks with the 20-year-old - who comes off contract with the Eels at the end of the year - at any time.

After initially indicating he would wait until midway through the season to make a decision on his future beyond 2010, Mortimer said he now wanted a deal done before kick-off in a bid to ward off the possibility of second-year blues.

And according to Mortimer there are only two clubs in the hunt - Parramatta and the Bulldogs - the club at which the Mortimer name was made famous thanks to the deeds of his father Peter and uncles Chris and Steve.

"I agree that finalising a decision is probably a good thing for all parties," Greenberg told AAP.

"I think it's important for him and for us that these things don't drag on."

Asked whether the club was in a position to table an offer, Greenberg said:

"We haven't done that yet but we will look to do that in the coming couple of weeks."

While the appeal of turning out for the Bulldogs is obvious, Osborne said Parramatta were confident of retaining a player they had nurtured into the top grade.

Osborne said there had been ongoing talks with Mortimer's manager Steve Gillis, but denied the club would rush the youngster into making a decision.

"I just want him to concentrate on footy - we're not worried whether it's before round one or not before round one," Osborne said.

"We're just waiting to hear back from them - we're ready to talk to them now.

"We're pretty confident he'll stay. Obviously he likes the place."

Gillis refused to confirm the round one deadline, but intimated his star client was ready to step up talks.

"I think there's a possibility things could move forward sooner rather than later," Gillis said.

"We've spoken to Parramatta - we've discussed in a roundabout way where we're at but there's nothing concrete. Nothing's going to happen overnight."

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