Bulldogs snubbed in chase for star signings
THE NRL's hottest properties, Jake and Tom Trbojevic, have knocked back a request to meet with Canterbury and declared they want to sign with Manly for life.
Desperate to inject their playing roster with some new talent, the Bulldogs inquired about the brothers' plans and sought an informal meeting to gauge interest.
However, Tom and Jake politely declined to meet with Bulldogs management because their hearts lie in Manly and they want to focus entirely on the Sea Eagles' top-four charge.
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It's another strong indication that Manly will nail down the Trbojevics long-term before they enter the open market on November 1.
"I don't want to have the possibility of them even looking at other offers or other clubs," Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans said.
"Selfishly, that's why I want them locked away as soon as possible."
Tom and Jake's agent is set to continue contract negotiations with Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler to try to seal the deal sooner rather than later.
The brothers spoke about their desire to remain at Brookvale on Monday.
"We're Manly boys and we don't want to leave Manly but in rugby league you never know what is going to happen," Jake said.
"In an ideal world, we would love to play our whole careers here. That's what we're hoping for. Hopefully it will be sorted soon.
"We're trying not to worry about it. We have the rest of this year and all of next year.
"It's an exciting time for the club, so you don't want to be talking about contracts.
"It hasn't been a distraction. We don't really talk about it or worry about it.
"We hope it's sooner rather than later but we're not too worried."
Tom and Jake are off contract at the end of next season but can field formal offers from November 1.
"We love this club and hopefully we can stay here forever. It will get sorted," Tom said.
"We really enjoy being at this footy club and what this footy club is doing.
"We have always been in the area, this is where we're from. We're not too worried. It's a long way away."
Reminded of the November 1 deadline, Tom said: "In terms of NRL rules, that's the case. But I don't really look at it like that.
"I've got another year-and-a-half here at Manly and am really looking forward to it."
Their Manly teammates are waiting patiently for the deals to be done.
"They want to stay and I'm sure the club wants them to stay," Cherry-Evans said. "We are just waiting for it to happen.
"Everyone wants it to happen so I guess that's why people get antsy towards the situation because you're just going, 'why aren't they locked away yet?'
"But there's a lot more to it and there's so much to figure out in this day and age for clubs when it comes to salary caps.
"I do understand why it's taking so long."