Matt Moylan: The quarter-million dollar man

The Penrith Panthers have slapped a huge transfer fee on prize player Matt Moylan amidst reports he's been relieved of the captaincy at the club.

In a move designed to ward off rival clubs from attempting to poach the 26-year-old Penrith junior, the Panthers have placed a whopping $250,000 transfer fee on five-eighth Matt Moylan.

Moylan, who has reportedly been relieved of the captaincy at Penrith, has been understood to be eager for a move away from the fishbowl suburb of Penrith. The pressure of being elevated to club captain is thought to have strained his love for the game and the club, as well as his relationship with head coach Anthony Griffin.

Splashing the cash

The reported transfer fee of $250,000 would not count against a rival NRL club’s salary cap should they fork out the sum to prise Moylan away from Mulgoa Road. It would, however, be a deterrent to plenty of cash-strapped clubs and would also be accompanied by an additional 50% loading fee, which would need to be paid to the NRL to be used for player education and welfare.

NRL clubs have traditionally baulked at having to pay transfer fees, which are far more commonplace in the northern hemisphere’s European Super League.

On top of the transfer fee, reports suggest his manager is chasing a $900,000 deal with potential suitors, making an investment in Moylan hugely expensive.

The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles are no longer thought to be interested in reuniting Moylan with Trent Barrett on the northern beaches after inking an upgraded deal with Dylan Walker. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and Wests Tigers have been touted as the most likely landing spots for the fullback-come-half should he wrestle his way out of Penrith.

Penrith have repeatedly denied suggestions Moylan is keen to leave, and gave their captain time away from the game at the end of the season, despite a crucial finals campaign, to get away and sort out some personal issues.

Also muddying the waters for a move to the Tigers would be their need for a fullback rather than a five-eighth, with Moylan indicating his preference to remain in the halves after moving there and Dylan Edwards taking the Penrith fullback role.

Previous talk of a swap deal with Cronulla involving James Maloney has also cooled, with the Sharks now confident they can keep Maloney and still be in a position to chase a player of the calibre and price tag of Matt Moylan.

Captain Moylan

Talk coming out of the Penrith camp, including a brief text message exchange with an insider that I had earlier in the week, suggests Moylan appears more comfortable and far less burdened since given time away. Reports of a rift with Griffin were exaggerated, most likely by crafty recruiting agents around the league keen to force Moylan onto the open market.

Despite that, there remains a school of thought that Moylan hasn’t risen to the challenge or the opportunity to lead his colleagues since being appointed captain last year. Some players have pointed out his less than enthusiastic approach to training and even his own rehab as examples of how his talent alone isn’t enough to make him a good leader.

The fact that Moylan reportedly asked to step down from the role does, however, potentially indicate that he is preparing to stay at the club moving forward, which will be music to the ears of most Penrith fans.

Do you think Matt Moylan will remain with Penrith Panthers in 2018? Let us know in the comments below.

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Daniel Lang