Semi Radradra Photo: Getty Images
In some good news for the NRL and Parramatta, there are reports Semi Radradra is set to turn his back on a rich deal with Toulon and stay with the blue and gold beyond 2017.
The Daily Telegraph reports Semi Radradra’s manager was involved in a “heated” phone call with Toulon owner, Mourad Boudjellal, expressing his extreme disappointment after the French rugby powerhouse claimed to have secured his signature for the 2017-18 Top 14 season.
“Radradra’s manager George Christodoulou has maintained for several days that “no contract has been issued let alone signed’’, and made a point of letting millionaire Boudjellal know he and Radradra were not happy,” reported The Daily Telegraph.
Boudjellal on Monday insisted Radradra's move was sealed after he signed a one-year contract with an optional second season.
It’s understood Radradra’s management will meet with Parramatta officials next week about the prized winger’s “options beyond 2017.”
Earlier On Triple M
Semi Radradra Photo: Getty Images
Parramatta CEO Bernie Gurr said Radradra's manager George Christodoulou had "definitively" denied the deal was done or even verbally committed to, saying Toulon had "jumped the gun" in declaring the signature.
He found it "justifiable" that Christodoulou would enquire about back-up alternatives in the scenario his client was expelled from the NRL by the game's integrity unit.
But the Eels intend to hold their prized winger to his contract, which doesn't expire until the end of the 2017 season.
"His manager has been honest with us and we have no reason to question what he's told us," said Gurr, who said the Eels were in preliminary negotiations about securing Radradra's signature long term, pending a verdict on his charges.
"My understanding is that Semi's preference is to stay in the NRL."
Radradra also faced arrest after his failure to appear at Parramatta Local Court on Monday to answer three charges of domestic violence brought by his former partner Perina Ting.
Radradra, who denies the allegations, had flown to Fiji to visit his sick father, angering the magistrate sufficiently to threaten him with an arrest warrant.
When he finally fronted on Wednesday morning, his lawyer was able to convince the magistrate to revoke the warrant, but he was forced to hand over his passport and would not be allowed to leave Australia before his hearing on February 13.
While refusing to comment on legal proceedings, Gurr did concede the timing of Radradra's hearing was inconvenient given it was set down only a couple of weeks before the season starts.
"Ideally, the thing would have been wrapped up on Monday," Gurr said.
"Now that it's been put back to February, we're just going to deal with that - you deal with the cards you're played - we can't control anything else.
"It's not ideal, but I don't think it's going to disrupt the team's preparation.
"We're merely going through this in steps.
"Step one was to get in consultation with his manager, to get Semi back in the country and then to fulfil his obligation to turn up in court today.
"That's been done - the result is satisfactory at this stage ... now they can have plenty of time to prepare for the legal case in February."
Gurr had not spoken to Radradra but said the player understood the seriousness of his legal situation.
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