Castleford Tigers head coach Lee Radford has had his say on the rumours linking half-back Jake Trueman with a move away.
23-year-old Trueman is understood to be on his way across Yorkshire to Hull FC from next year.
Tigers boss Radford didn’t deny them either, accepting that he may have to prepare for a future without one of the club’s shining stars.
“I think that’s probably for everybody else to announce. For me, he’s here now and I’ve got to get the best out of him,” said Radford, himself a former Hull FC head coach.
“Beyond this year, if he’s here then fantastic but if not, then I’ll get a real good replacement.
“Ultimately, we’re worried about where we’re at at the moment and we want to get Jake playing better than he did last week [in Cas’ defeat at Catalans Dragons on April 29]. That’s where my focus is right now.”
Trueman joined the Tigers from Bradford Bulls in 2017, and this season should get to the 100-appearance mark for the club.
Boss Radford went onto admit that his quality as a half-back makes it no surprise that he’s being looked at by those elsewhere.
“Planning wise, the half- backs are a difficult one. If you look at the market and see which ones are actually available next year, then you can see why everybody is getting touted everywhere.
“You don’t have to be Einstein to work out how blokes are going to get touted about when they’re available, because there’s not so many pottering about.”
If the rumours are to ring true and Trueman does move on from the Mend-A-Hose Jungle come the end of this campaign, then he’ll likely not be alone.
Many of the Tigers squad are coming to the end of their contracts, with Radford admitting that a ballpark figure of six or seven players are expected to leave giving an idea of his own plans.
“It’s getting a little bit busier and faster. If you get your business done early and know what you’ve got, you do run the risk of missing a bargain cropping up.
“I’ve notoriously done my work early though just to ease the business of planning.”
For now, Radford’s focus will remain on getting his side into the play-offs come the back end of 2022. In his own first season with the club, they currently sit eighth in the Super League table, two points off the top six. Hull KR make the trip to the Jungle on Sunday.