Bunnies set to lose inspirational skipper
Adam Reynolds' manager has publicly admitted for the first time what every Souths fan was fearing - the gun Rabbitohs star is preparing to quit Redfern.
Several clubs are privately discussing Reynolds although no official approaches have yet been lodged.
The five clubs that could consider Reynolds are Wests Tigers, Gold Coast, North Queensland, Cronulla and Brisbane.
Leading player agent Steve Gillis told The Daily Telegraph his client would have no choice but to walk away unless the unlikely scenario plays out that Souths relent and offer Reynolds a new deal spanning two or three years.
Souths management is refusing to buckle and their offer for Reynolds spans just 12 months.
Gillis has attempted to avoid commenting on the Reynolds stand-off but finally relented on Wednesday, declaring: "Unless things change and Souths reassess their position, I don't envisage Adam will be there in 2022. Unless Souths are prepared to move, I can't see him there.
Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand with No Ad-Breaks During Play. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
"Adam would love to stay but Souths run the risk of losing him - that is reality which is drawing closer every day if Souths stall on a second year. Souths have stuck firm on their position since the get-go and that's fine.
"I would assume Souths have weighed this up carefully before making their decision to offer a one-year contract."
Reynolds, who remains in doubt for Friday night's match against Sydney Roosters with concussion, could attract a three-year deal worth around $2.1 million.
Coach Jason Demetriou is a huge Reynolds fan, but the Rabbitohs are arguing they are being financially prudent with their contract negotiations.
A fan-initiated online petition supporting the off-contract Reynolds has already attracted 2200 signatures.
"Understandably, Adam is determined to secure a longer term deal. He has a wife and four young children and wants the security of knowing where he will be from a longer term point of view," Gillis said.
"I will continue to explore all options for him and I am sure there will be plenty of interest in him after clubs have had a chance to assess their rosters and look to the future.
"The market will surge in about four-to-six weeks' time and I anticipate there will be plenty of interest in his services.
"He's premiership winner, an Origin representative, a captain and a leading point scorer and you can add to that he has the best kicking game in the NRL."
Souths want to retain Reynolds but the club does not want to be pressured into beefing up the contract offer.
If Reynolds were to shift to the Tigers they could move Luke Brooks to five-eighth.
Tom Dearden is off contract Brisbane, Ash Taylor's deal at Gold Coast ends after this season, North Queensland will have a halves vacancy with Jake Clifford leaving the Cowboys while Cronulla's Chad Townsend has yet to take up an option in his favour for 2022.
Given it's only round three, most clubs will wait at least a month before initiating any formal approach for Reynolds.
Reynolds was concussed against Manly last weekend with a final decision on his availability for the Roosters game likely to come on Friday morning.
Originally published as 'Can't see him there': Bunnies set to lose inspirational skipper