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NRL 2020: Canberra Raiders second-rower John Bateman reportedly given permission to negotiate with other clubs

Sporting News logo Sporting News 23/05/2020
John Bateman holding a football ball © Getty Images

Canberra Raiders second-rower John Bateman has been given permission by club chairman Don Furner to test his value on the open market.

It was reported on Friday that the English international was looking to negotiate with other clubs and ultimately push for his release.

This was angrily denied by Bateman, who called out Fox Sports reporter James Hooper over the story on social media, tweeting "You better stick to polishing that bald head big fella because your (sic) (poo emoji) at being a journo."

However, Canberra boss Don Furner has confirmed that the 26-year-old has been given permission to test his value.

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“Yes, it’s true. We’ve given John permission to test his value on the open market. That’s all I’ll say on the matter,” Furner told Fox Sports.

The Australian reporter Brent Read told Triple M that he be 'stunned' if Bateman lined up for the Green Machine in 2021.

“John Bateman won’t be at Canberra next year, I think you can take that as read,” Read said.

“John’s saying that he hasn’t asked for a release, he hasn’t asked for one but basically they have gone to the club and they’ve made it clear that they can't upgrade and extend him,

“As a result of that, they said that he can explore his options elsewhere,

“I’ll be stunned if John’s at Canberra next year.”

He suggests that the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and St George Illawarra Dragons are the early favourites for his signature, with the reigning Dally M Second-Rower of the Year expected to command in excess of $800,000 per year.

There are a few clubs that are obvious,” he said.

“Canterbury, the Dragons are looking for someone after Tyson Frizell’s departure,

“I think Canterbury is the early favourites to sign John Bateman, he won't be there (at Canberra),

“The mail is that he is on $570,000 with a car…the asking price is about $800,000 so there are not many clubs that can afford him."

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