Parramatta Eels: Brad Arthur reveals deal to keep star away from the Dolphins

Michael Holland
Ryan Matterson Parramatta Eels PA

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says the club have offered Ryan Matterson a four-year deal in the hope he will turn his back on the Dolphins in favour of staying with the Eels.

Arthur is set to lose a host of key players at the end of the season. Reed Mahoney is heading to the Bulldogs, Marata Niukore the Warriors and Isaiah Papali’i to Wests Tigers.

Ray Stone has also agreed a deal with the Dolphins and there is a chance Matterson could join him. The 27-year-old has held talks with Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett regards a deal.

Bennett was recently quoted by Newscorp as saying: “Yes, we’ve had a meeting, so we’ll see what happens. We’re very interested in Ryan. He came up here, we’ve had some talks and now we’ll wait and see what happens.”

Dolphins keen to strike a deal

Some reports have gone as far as suggesting that a switch to Redcliffe is pretty much done. However Arthur sees it differently and believes the back-rower is keen to stay in Sydney.

The Eels coach is in the dark with regards to what the Dolphins have offered Matterson. However he says the deal the Eels have put on the table is a competitive one.

Now only time will tell whether it is good enough. Arthur will obviously not talk numbers however Newscorp have suggested it could be worth $2.5million over the four seasons. There is talk the Dolphins have offered $1.5million over three years.

Matterson’s stock has risen further after his call up to the New South Wales State of Origin squad. He will make his debut in game one on Wednesday night. Brad Fittler has handed him the No.17 jersey and he will start on the bench.

Parramatta make four-year offer

Arthur is in no doubt what Matterson means to the club. He remains firmly in his plans and is hoping he signs on the dotted line.

“We have put a good competitive offer for four years to him and we would love him to stay,” Arthur revealed. “He is a local junior, came through our system, and been back now for a couple of years and playing his best footy.

“He is a real integral part of us moving forward. We would love him to stay. I feel like his preference is to stay in Sydney, stay at Parramatta around his family but I am not sure what the Redcliffe offer is.”