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3 days ago
THE odds of former Test and State of Origin captain Brad Fittler staying at Bondi Junction have lengthened considerably after he rejected the Sydney Roosters latest offer to play next season.
Fittler's manager, Wayne Beavis, yesterday confirmed Fittler had rejected the club's proposed new cut-price deal brought about by salary cap pressures.
"Brad was looking for a two-year deal, but the club (Roosters) has come back with an offer expecting him to take a substantial pay cut," Beavis said.
"To say he is unhappy with the offer is a gross understatement.
"Freddy has given the (Roosters), the state of NSW and Australia at Test level outstanding service."
Roosters CEO Bernie Gurr yesterday acknowledged the club's offer to retain Fittler's services is a reduced one.
"From talks with Brad he clearly has indicated he wants to stay at the club," Gurr said. "While the offer is reduced, I'll continue the talks and keep chipping away until I hope both parties can come to an agreement."
Beavis was also adamant that Fittler and the Roosters could return to the negotiating table before the NRL's anti-tampering ban is lifted at midnight on Monday.
"Our preferred option is for him to stay with the Roosters, but we haven't ruled out any options including playing in England."
Fittler has been with the Roosters for eight seasons, leading the club to a premiership last year.
His only other club in a distinguished 14-year career, which includes 29 Origin appearances and 34 Tests, was with Penrith between 1989 and 1995.
Fittler is just one of several seasoned campaigners likely to come on to the open market after Monday's deadline.