Melbourne Storm “cannot afford to lose” Cameron Munster and there is no way he will take a pay cut, according to former NRL star Matty Johns.
Johns made the comments after Munster returned to his very best on Thursday night. The playmaker scored two tries and created another in the 28-8 win over Manly. The performance came after two disappointing efforts against Penrith and the Cowboys.
The Storm suffered heavy defeats in both games and Munster copped some criticism. However he answered the critics and Storm coach Craig Bellamy was delighted with him. The return of halfback of Jahrome Hughes from injury was also a key factor.
Bellamy salutes Munster display
“He’d probably just got a little bit away from what he’s good at (in recent weeks) and he went straight back to that. I thought he was tremendous actually,” Bellamy told reporters after the game.
“When he plays well, we usually follow. Cameron’s the ultimate competitor and when things aren’t going well for him he probably tries too hard. But I thought he was tremendous and obviously having Jahrome back certainly helped.”
The display of Munster inevitably led to talk about his future. Munster is under contract until the end of the 2023 NRL campaign. But where he will play after that remains up in the air.
Melbourne are keen to keep hold. However after spending big elsewhere it is reported that Munster would have to take a pay cut. He is reported to be on $1.2million a year at this time. But that could be cut to $750,000.
The Dolphins are also in the hunt. Wayne Bennett has declared his interest and would be willing to spend big. It is also thought the Broncos will enter the race at some point.
Melbourne Storm could lose Munster
Johns says that Melbourne are playing a dangerous game. He believes there is no way Munster will accept a pay cut to stay.
“Melbourne have said if he wants to stay in Melbourne he’s going to have to take a pay cut . There is no way he’ll take a pay cut,” Johns said on Thursday’s The Matty Johns Show. “They cannot afford to lose him.”
Bryan Fletcher then added: “They can’t offer him a pay cut because he was the best player on the field.”
Johns then went on to add that he expects plenty of developments in the coming weeks and months.
Munster can accept an offer for 2024 from a rival club later this year. 1st November to be exact. But even if that happens Melbourne are adamant he will see out his contract and not be allowed to leave early.