Sea Eagles enforcer Marty Taupau has reportedly requested an immediate release from his contract to join a rival club.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the 32-year-old is set to sign with the Parramatta Eels, with the August 1 deadline looming.
Reports suggest the Eels have the salary cap space left to sign the Kiwi International and have until Monday to confirm any deal.
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As it stands, Taupau is without a contract for the 2023 season, but a mid-season switch would likely see his 14-season career extended.
Brad Arthur’s Eels will lose a number of big name players for the 2023 season including Marata Niukore, Isaiah Papali’I, Ray Stone, Oregon Kaufusi and Reed Mahoney — who are all forwards.
Taupau’s signature would bolster Parramatta’s pack and add experience to the Eels already impressive front row of Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo.
The hulking prop’s potential exit is another huge blow Des Hasler’s Manly side after a tumultuous week.
Manly have been in the headlines following the decision of seven players to stand down, refusing to wear the club’s rainbow-trimmed pride jersey to represent members of the LGBTQIA community.
Hasler’s depleted side lost against the Roosters last night, but Taupau delivered an impressive performance, running for 94 metres with four offloads and a tackle break.
Originally published as Manly dealt another blow as star requests immediate release for mid-season switch