Daly Cherry-Evans will leave Manly at the conclusion of the 2015 NRL season after the Sea Eagles dramatically withdrew a contract offer for the Queensland and Australia playmaker on Wednesday evening.
The future of Cherry-Evans has been one of the biggest talking points in the off-season and Manly CEO Joe Kelly made the decision after becoming frustrated at the 26-year-old’s failure to let the club know his intentions by the agreed deadline of 12pm on Monday.
Cherry-Evans has publicly courted other clubs with a TV crew filming his arrival at Sharkies Leagues club for talks with Cronulla and he and his wife were then photographed looking at property around the Gold Coast last month.
It’s believed these actions upset the Sea Eagles’ playing group and Kelly said the offer, believed to be $900,000 a season, was withdrawn as the contract talks were overshadowing preparations for Friday’s round one opener against Parramatta.
“We’ve been talking about this for three-and-half months now and we set him a deadline of midday on Monday and that has come and gone,” Kelly told AAP.
“At the end of the day we’ve offered Daly what we consider a very good deal. But the reality is that we have a big game on Friday and we want to focus fully on that and this is affecting our preparations.”
Five-eighth Kieran Foran is also yet to rubber-stamp an offer from the club but Kelly refused to say if that deal for the Kiwi international, who is wanted by Parramatta, is still on the table.
“We just want to focus on the game and that is all we want to say about the matter for now,” he said.
“The season is about to start and that is the most important thing at this club.”
Manly coach Geoff Toovey admitted he was surprised at the news as he was confident Cherry-Evans would remain at Brookvale.
He was still hopeful Foran will stay.
“We think it’s in their best interests to remain at the Manly club,” Toovey told Fox Sports 365 show.
“We think we made an offer that was very good.
“I don’t think (news of Cherry-Evans) is a worry. He has taken his time to make a decision but I think the right decision would have been to stay at the club.”
Article from Sportsnews.com.au