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St George Illawarra Dragons have invited forward Brent Kite and hooker Mark Riddell to look elsewhere following speculation about the pair's future. Dragons chief executive Peter Doust last night confirmed that permission has been given for the two players to negotiate with rival clubs before the NRL's June 30 anti-tampering deadline.
Doust added that while the two were free to test their value on the open market, the club retained the right to make a final offer on their services.
Riddell has been linked to the Sharks and Roosters while the Sea Eagles are understood to be interested in Kite.
"We met with Brent's agent yesterday and there was a lot of debate about his value given certain recent events," Doust said.
"So we felt it was in the interests of both parties to find out who is serious about wanting to sign him and what the market is saying about a price.
"Our position in relation to Mark is the same. They are two players whose value we need to be objective about and we felt this was the best way to achieve that."
In related news, Ben Hornby is in the final year of his contract but the Dragons have not given permission to the NSW fullback to negotiate with other clubs.
Meanwhile, the Dragons have indicated that they wish to retain halfback Mathew Head, but have Brett Firman under contract for a further two seasons. Head got his chance in first grade when Firman broke a leg earlier this year and has since been in outstanding form.