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The Wests Tigers have placed a Friday deadline on their contract offers to Aaron Woods and James Tedesco in a bid to end the maelstrom of controversy swirling around the NRL club.
Coach Ivan Cleary and club management have made clear their intentions to play hard ball with the star duo after threatening to pull their offers unless they were accepted by close of business on Friday.
The Tigers now face losing three of their so-called "big four" after Mitchell Moses signed a three-year deal to join Parramatta for next season - a situation which would be disastrous for the joint venture.
Cleary put the deadline to player agent Isaac Moses, who represents both Woods and Tedesco, on Tuesday.
The next day, incumbent NSW fullback Tedesco was linked with the Sydney Roosters and skipper Woods was photographed having coffee with several Canterbury players amid suggestions he was set to sign with the Bulldogs.
Cleary, who took over a fortnight ago following Jason Taylor's sacking, said he wanted to put an end to the constant distraction surrounding player movement which had clouded the club all year.
"It's in the interests of both the players and the stakeholders," Cleary said.
"The constant speculation has become a hindrance to our performance and we don't want to go into another game with that.
"I think it's really good for the guys and we'd love them to stay and at this stage we've had no decision, no information regarding decisions."
Cleary said he was "hopeful" of hanging onto Woods and Tedesco after this week signing halfback Luke Brooks on a two-year deal.
Cleary said part of the reason they had imposed the deadline was so if they did depart, they could be competitive in the market place and would have time to top up their rosters.
"That's the professional environment we live in," Cleary said.
"If that is the case, I'll reiterate I certainly hope it's not, I can certainly guarantee Wests Tigers supporters that we'll be able to attract some high-calibre and well-credentialed players."
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