Disgruntled playmaker Shaun Johnson has reportedly asked for an immediate release from the Warriors as uncertainty surrounding his playing future continues.
According to the NZ Herald, Johnson approached Warriors CEO Cameron George and coach Stephen Kearney on Tuesday about wanting out of the final year of his contract.
While the club are yet to offer him a contract beyond the 2019 — and are unlikely to do so — they’ve reportedly rejected the request, insisting the New Zealand international see out his deal.
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Should the club backflip and offer him a deal, it’s unlikely to be anywhere near the reported seven-figure sum he’s currently on.
According to the report, Cronulla are frontrunners to snare the 28-year-old, while four other NRL rivals are gearing up to make a play.
Canberra are another club believed to be interested and coach Ricky Stuart recently admitted as much.
“I think if you asked most coaches in the competition they would be pretty chuffed to coach a player of that ability,” Stuart said.
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“If you saw the article that came out a few weeks back … in a roundabout way they said they are in no rush to re-sign me. Since then, they have told me again at this stage they wont be offering me anything,” Johnson wrote on Facebook.
“That means I get to spread my wings and see what’s out there so right now that’s what I’m doing!”
Johnson has played all of his 162 NRL games for the Warriors, since his debut in 2011 scoring 917 points.
In addition to club duties, the talented half has played 29 Tests for New Zealand.