Paper Talk: Catalans target Maloney, Williams in Canberra talks, clubs circle Widnes

Drew Darbyshire

There is a lot of transfer talk in the latest papers.

Maloney linked with Catalans

Catalans Dragons have been linked with a move for Penrith Panthers half-back James Maloney, report League Weekly.

Maloney wants to play in Super League in 2020, although he is contracted to Penrith until the end of next year. League Weekly report that Maloney is keen to move to Super League a year earlier and it’s understood the Panthers would not stop Maloney cutting his deal a year short, thereby clearing salary cap space. The Dragons have been approached by the half-back’s agent and have shown interest.

Williams in Canberra talks

George Williams could leave Wigan Warriors at the end of the season and join Canberra Raiders, report League Express.

The England international is understood to have held discussions over a move to the NRL club in a deal that would see Canberra raid one of Wigan’s star players. According to League Express, Williams will be offered a three-year deal to join the Raiders and is likely to take up the offer and leave Super League at the end of the season.

New York battle it out with Perez

The biggest obstacle standing in the way of a rugby league in New York could come from North America – rather than their potential League 1 rivals, report League Weekly.

New York could yet find itself beaten to the punch by Eric Perez, the Toronto Wolfpack founder who aims to launch a second professional Canadian club in nearby Hamilton. League Weekly report Perez bought Hemel Stags’ license late last year, before the club officially withdrew from League 1. Perez reportedly paid a sum of money to the Stags last year for their license and would look to enter a team into the third-tier.

Fifita future cleared up

Wakefield Trinity forward David Fifita has dropped the clearest hint yet that his long-term future is with Trinity, after revealing he has an option for a one-year extension to his current deal for 2020 which he has every intention of signing, report League Express.

The Tonga international has been linked with a move to Leeds Rhinos for next season, and he is off-contract at the end of the season, but he has dropped a strong hint he will remain at Wakefield beyond 2019. Fifita told League Express: “The speculation always comes around when we’re playing Leeds. As far as I’m concerned I’m not even off-contract; I’ve got an option in my favour for next season but I’m not looking to go anywhere.”

Hull, Bradford and London circle Widnes

It has not taken long for the vultures to circulate Widnes during the club’s ongoing financial crisis, report League Weekly.

Three agents have notified League Weekly that clubs have already started to show interest in Widnes players. Hull FC and Bradford Bulls are very much to the fore and the two big forwards – Ted Chapelhow and Adam Tangata – are apparently on their radars. London Broncos fancy bringing Anthony Gelling to the club, while Jack Owens is also attracting plenty of interest.

McIlorum to extend Catalans stay

Micky McIlorum has signed a new two-year deal with Catalans Dragons, report League Express.

The 31-year-old has penned an extension to his deal with the Dragons after a superb first season in Perpignan. McIlorum was off-contract with Catalans at the end of the season, but he confirmed he has extended his stay with the club after adapting well to life abroad. He told League Express: “I’m signed for another three years so hopefully I can speak French by the end of that!”

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