Barrett set to give Eels the slip - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barrett set to give Eels the slip

By Steve Jancetic 14/07/2010 07:27:26 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta's search for a veteran mentor for five-eighth Daniel Mortimer appears to be a race in two with Cronulla skipper Trent Barrett set to pass up the opportunity for an NRL farewell with the Eels in 2011.

The Eels targeted Barrett along with Canterbury halfback Brett Kimmorley and former Manly skipper Matt Orford as the ideal foil for Mortimer - who has suffered from a bad case of second-year blues for the struggling Eels.

Kimmorley has been squeezed out at the Bulldogs with new signings Trent Hodkinson and Kris Keating to join current playmakers Ben Roberts and Ben Barba at the club in 2011, while Orford is reportedly keen to return home despite having two years to run on his deal with Super League side Bradford.

Barrett however appears set to stick with his original plan to retire at the end of the season. That call is likely to be confirmed on Thursday when he meets with manager Wayne Beavis.

"The last time I spoke to him he was retiring," Beavis said.

"I'm seeing him tomorrow. Nothing's changed."

Asked whether the Eels had tabled an offer for the veteran playmaker - who skippered NSW for the first time in last week's State of Origin finale, Beavis said: "Not that I know of - have you seen one?

"Everyone's telling me there's one but I haven't seen it," Beavis said.

Barrett had maintained that he would only play with the Sharks if he played on for a 16th season, but an opportunity to chase an elusive premiership with a talented Eels outfit would no doubt be tempting.

Eels chief executive Paul Osborne seemed resigned to missing out on Barrett, but he remained steadfast in his commitment to bring an experienced playmaker to the club.

"I think he wants to retire," Osborne said of Barrett.

"But we've talking to managers about Barrett, Orford and Kimmorley.

"We want an old head there in the halves just to guide the team around."

Osborne was due to meet with George Mimis - who manages both Orford and Kimmorley - on Wednesday, but those talks were delayed until later in the week.

Orford is currently back in Australia as he recuperates from shoulder surgery.

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