Both Parramatta and Brad Arthur are insisting he plans to see out his tenure at the club despite the Eels coach being shopped to an NRL rival by his management.
Sources with knowledge of the situation have told the Herald that the Eels and Arthur were caught off guard by the move when informed of the development by Nine News on Monday.
Arthur is contracted at Parramatta until the end of 2024 and stressed as much when contacted while in a mid-season camp on the Central Coast, a stance club officials reiterated without commenting publicly.
His management group, Pacific Sports Management, could not be reached for comment on Monday night.
He has been at the Eels helm for almost a decade and overseen Parramatta’s gradual rise out of the doldrums to become regular finals contenders in recent years.
Three consecutive semi-final stumbles have however raised doubts about Arthur’s ability to take the current roster all the way to end a premiership drought stretching back to 1986.
News of Arthur being offered elsewhere comes as the NRL’s coaching merry-go-round threatens to swing into gear once more amid increased scrutiny on Anthony Griffin’s tenure at the Dragons.
His future is set to be discussed at a scheduled St George Illawarra board meeting on Tuesday.
Canterbury are still yet to name a full-time replacement for Trent Barrett as Penrith assistant Cameron Ciraldo is consistently linked to the role.
Ciraldo has been eyed off by several clubs, including Wests Tigers and the Warriors before they plumped for Tim Sheens and fellow Panthers assistant Andrew Webster respectively to take charge in 2023.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook has also been under increasing pressure as the club conducts a review into the Gold Coast’s slump to a share of equal last on the NRL ladder.
Arthur and players including Eels captain Clint Gutherson are due to front the media on Tuesday.
Parramatta host the Broncos on Thursday in a critical clash given both sides sit sixth and fifth respectively on 24 points alongside fourth-placed Melbourne.
The Eels roster will transform on several fronts after 2022 with Reed Mahoney (Bulldogs), Isaiah Papali’i (Wests Tigers), Marata Niukore (Warriors), Oregon Kaufusi (Sharks) and Ray Stone (Dolphins) on the move.
Papali’i moving to the Tigers on a lucrative three-year deal has been clouded by second thoughts from the Kiwi international, who stopped short of guaranteeing his switch to the joint-venture when pressed on the reports last week.
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