Aden Funois-Blake got Manley’s permission to speak to other clubs after the superstar requested an urgent release from his $ 600,000 season contract in a desperate bid to exit Sydney.
Sea Eagles released a statement Wednesday morning saying that Fonua-Blake has expressed a desire to leave with his family at the end of the season.
The statement confirmed the news, published by Nine News correspondent Danny Widler this morning.
The 24-year-old sought his manager’s permission to access a small number of clubs, with a move to Warriors at the table.
The Bronco is also interested in making a play for Vonoa Blake, according to a report by Australian Rugby League correspondent Brent Reed.
The striker has two years to contest his contract.
Manley admitted that the exit of Funoit Blake would be a “heavy loss”, as the international player in Tonga is highly regarded by his teammates. Earlier this season, he was ranked as the best prop in the competition by his peers in the Rugby League Players’ Association poll.
Manley says any deal with a rival team will only be considered if the Sea Eagles receive a “fair and reasonable compensation” in return.
Manley’s statement “While Aden is a prominent and highly valued member of the Sea Eagles and it will be a great loss, out of respect for him and his circumstances, today the club has given permission to hold exploratory talks immediately,” read.
“The club will consider favorably the application to release a convict from the last two years of his contract on humanitarian grounds as long as Sea Eagles receives fair and reasonable compensation.
“The club informed Aden and its manager that this issue needs to be resolved quickly so that all parties can confidently plan for the future.”
Plus the Oakland-based club – St George Illawarra could be a touchdown point, as Fonua-Blake makes his name there before Manly signs him. The Dragons are based in Wollongong, just south of Sydney, which makes them a viable candidate.