Jarome Luai has been given further incentive to ponder a future away from the Panthers after a shock divorce from his management company.
According to leading rugby league journalist Danny Weidler, Luai has surrendered a $100,000 third-party sponsorship deal with JBL electronic goods and is now more likely to test his value on the open market when he is able to begin to receive offers from rival clubs once the November 1 deadline is reached.
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The financial hit means Luai will likely be on the lookout for a pay rise when he hits the open market on November 1 and could join Canterbury, foxsports.com.au reports
The Bulldogs are desperately chasing a quality halfback and Luai reportedly considers the club’s coach Cameron Ciraldo a mentor from their time together at the Panthers.
However, the Bulldogs are far from the only club that is going to chase Luai’s signature with Weidler reporting the Tigers, Dragons, Raiders and Roosters will have an interest.
Luai remains contracted through to the end of the 2024 season, but all bets beyond that season are now off.
Bulldogs football boss Phil Gould has not been shy in his public declarations the club is searching for a playmaker.
Earlier this year Gould failed to dismiss rumours the club was interested in Dragons star Ben Hunt, should he attempt to request a release from the club.
The Bulldogs are also reportedly monitoring the situation of David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui but have acquired the services of their club teammate.
Former Titans halfback Toby Sexton joined the club earlier this month.
The 22-year-old has been recruited amid a halves crisis at the Belmore-based club, with superstar Matt Burton filling the No.7 jersey for two months.
Rookie coach Cameron Ciraldo has used Kyle Flanagan, Karl Oloapu, Josh Reynolds and Khaled Rajab to partner Burton so far in 2023.
Luai would be the big fish recruit Gould has always dreamed of.
Gould has already snared one Panthers star for next season with Stephen Crichton finally set to make the move to Canterbury after signing a long time ago.
Meanwhile, it has been a turbulent season for Luai after he was sensationally axed from the NSW team for Game 3 and was the target for a series of abusive messages on social media following the Blues’ Game 2 defeat in Brisbane.