Watmough free to negotiate with rivals

Last updated 13:51 26/08/2014
Anthony Watmough
THE EEL DEAL: Manly enforcer Anthony Watmough has been released by the club and is set to link up with the Eels.

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Unsettled Manly forward Anthony Watmough has been granted permission to negotiate with the Sea Eagles' NRL rivals for the 2016 season, according to reports.

Watmough has been at the centre of continued unrest at Brookvale over the departure of star back-rower Glenn Stewart, who will join South Sydney next year.

Watmough is contracted with Manly through 2015.

The NSW representative has been linked to a move to Parramatta, under former Manly assistant Brad Arthur and Canterbury, under ex-Manly mentor Des Hasler.

But under NRL rules Watmough must be given permission to negotiate with rival clubs at this stage of his contract, which has been granted by Manly bosses, according to a Nine Network report.

Watmough, who is rumoured to be on A$900,000 (NZ $1 million) for next season, due to a back-dated contract, has previously not denied wanting out of the premiership frontrunners.

Watmough is among a handful of players upset at Stewart's departure.

Steve Matai has requested a release from the final year of his contract in 2015 to join the Warriors on a big money move.

Brett Stewart is another who has been linked to an exit from Brookvale next year, despite being contracted to Manly.

The instability has the potential to unsettle Manly's premiership tilt.

They have lost two of their last three matches, but sit atop the NRL ladder a win abreast of South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters.

They host Penrith at Brookvale on Sunday before travelling to play North Queensland in Townsville in the final round.

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