It’s no secret that the star Penrith winger is coming off-contract at the end of the 2018 season and plenty of clubs are lining up to offer him the big dollars.
Mansour has suggested that he will need to assess every offer on its merits and do what is right for his young family, but there is also a sense that if Penrith can put together an offer competitive with the biggest he receives, his preference would be to remain with the club that gave him his start in the NRL.
With that in mind, we take a look at the possible landing spots for Mansour.
1 Parramatta Eels
Penrith’s arch-rivals, the Parramatta Eels have made no secret of their desire to add a superstar try-scorer on the wing since losing Semi Radradra to European rugby union and Mansour would definitely fit the bill.
The Eels suffered a horror start to the 2018 season and one of the key issues they faced was a lack of go-forward at kick-returns amongst their backline, something a player with the skillset of Josh Mansour would rectify almost immediately.
Throw in his ability to get over the try line and an obvious need for Parramatta to invest in quality wide players and it’s easy to see why the Eels would be interested in nabbing Mansour.
The biggest issue they face in luring Mansour away from Penrith, however, is the intense rivalry between the two clubs. Mansour has been all-in during his time with the Panthers, buying right into the club culture and he could thumb his nose at a move to Parramatta.
2 Sydney Roosters
Sometimes it feels like lazy journalism to link a big-name off-contract star to the Roosters given that every high-profile player in the game seems to get linked with them ad-nauseum, but the feeling is that the Roosters are very keen on securing Mansour to beef up their wing stocks and they believe they have the salary cap flexibility to do it.
The Roosters went big when they brought Cooper Cronk to the club during the last off-season, ditching long-time halfback Mitchell Pearce in the process, but it hasn’t worked out and they find themselves sixth on the ladder after nine games.
While they do have a handful of world class players on their books, the flanks are a bit of a weakness and it’s undeniable that Mansour would be a dramatic improvement on the offensive side of the ball for the Roosters.
3 Newcastle Knights
2018 has been a good season relatively speaking for a Newcastle side which has racked up three consecutive wooden spoons but with cap room still to work with, the addition of a quality winger like Mansour would be a huge boost to Nathan Brown’s men.
The Knights probably fall on the unlikely side of the spectrum when it comes to being in the running for Mansour, but you cannot discount the big dollars and Hunter region lifestyle they can offer a bloke keen to set up his financial and family future.
There is also a general feel-good factor around the Knights right now as a young side continues to win games and improve, that will only get bigger and better as well. Could Josh Mansour see the upside in a move north?
4 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have somehow managed to put together a pretty average roster and be nudging the ceiling of the salary cap at the same time which is pretty impressive when you think about it.
With Dean Pay in his first year, it’s fair to suggest a bit of a cleanout and reshaping of a squad largely put together to play for Des Hasler could be on the cards and if they’re able to free up the sort of salary cap space that would give them a shot at Josh Mansour, you could hardly blame them for putting their hat into the ring.
With the future of the Morris twins in doubt and guys like Marcelo Montoya being decent without being spectacular, Mansour, who’s family are Bulldogs fans through and through, would be the perfect addition to the blue and white backline.
5 Penrith Panthers
To me, the idea of Josh Mansour staying in Penrith is starting to gather steam. Phil Gould and the club gave Mansour their blessing to start seeking offers from other suitors on the understanding they’d get a chance to match, or at least get close, to the best figure he could find and it’s hard to deny Mansour’s affection for the club which handed him his first start in the NRL.
With key stars like Nathan Cleary off-contract at the end of 2019, Penrith are in full-blown roster management mode and would be keen to keep the bustling winger at the club for the right price.
If it comes down to pure dollars and cents, Mansour will be out the door but if Penrith can put together an offer in the same ballpark as the best he gets, my tip is he’ll be a Panther for a while yet.
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