Tigers eye Milford as Warriors prepare $3.5m offer for teen
By Adrian Proszenko
November 1, 2019 — 5.14pm
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Wests Tigers could make an immediate play for Anthony Milford, if Brisbane are prepared to release their marquee man, as the joint-venture outfit looks to spend a $1.7 million war chest.
And across the Tasman, the Warriors are preparing a $3.5 million offer to a teenager who has played just five NRL games as silly season begins in the transfer market.
Within just a few weeks, the Tigers have gone from being cash-strapped to a major force in the chase for talent after the medical retirement of Ben Matulino and the departures of Esan Marsters and Ryan Matterson. They could have even more space in their salary cap if Chris McQueen accepts an offer to finish his career in England.
Anthony Milford is on the Tigers’ radar.
Anthony Milford is on the Tigers’ radar.CREDIT:AAP
Tigers officials don’t want to repeat mistakes by paying ‘overs’ for players past their best. They have drawn up a list of targets, including Dragons Luciano Leilua and Zac Lomax and Titans duo AJ Brimson and Jai Arrow. However, the biggest name on the list is Milford. The Brisbane star is contracted until the end of 2020, with an option in the playmaker’s favour. However, Milford hasn’t consistently lived up to his $1 million-a-season tag and the Broncos may consider shedding players to retain in-demand forward David Fifita.
Milford is one of several big names Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has put on notice. The 25-year-old has switched between five-eighth and fullback, but needs to work on his fitness to hold down the latter position.
If the Broncos release Milford - and are prepared to pay some of his freight to get him off their books - the Tigers would want him at Concord. Corey Thompson has done a solid job when given an opportunity at fullback, but the Tigers haven’t settled on a long-term No.1 since James Tedesco left for the Roosters two years ago.
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Milford is viewed as someone who can provide more strike from the back and also transition into the No.6 jersey when Benji Marshall retires.
The Maroons star is one of the most recognisable faces in the game, but the Warriors are prepared to splash the cash for a relative unknown. The Stephen Kearney-coached outfit wants to poach Melbourne forward Tino Faasuamaleaui, who is set to become one of the biggest beneficiaries as players coming off contract at the end of next season become open to approaches from rivals.
Faasuamaleaui, 19, has made five first-grade appearances for the Storm, including his debut against the Dragons in round 16. However, good judges feel he has the potential to become a superstar and the Warriors are ready to throw the chequebook at him.
The Warriors are prepared to offer Faasuamaleaui $700,000 a season for up to five years, a huge punt given his inexperience. The trans-Tasman outfit has shown a willingness to gamble on youth, as seen by the $3 million offered to Dylan Brown before he’d made his Parramatta debut.
Ryan Matterson could involved in a player swap with Luciano Leilua.
Dragons and Tigers consider Matterson-Leilua player swap
Add to shortlist
The Warriors are also in the mix for Fifita and are prepared to pay him $1 million a season to seal the deal. The Faasuamaleaui-Fifita double play is an acknowledgement Kearney’s forward pack needs an overhaul to return to finals football.
The Warriors’ offer to Faasuamaleaui is more than twice what the Storm are prepared to pay to keep him. Given he has a young family, the Broncos junior may be tempted to make the move. Fans will get a chance to see what the fuss is about when he represents Samoa against a Tongan pack that includes opposing back-rower Viliame Kikau.
The transfer market is expected to heat up now November 1 has ticked over. Matterson is available to clubs immediately. Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker, Jack Wighton, Josh Jackson, Nick Cotric and Dylan Brown are up for grabs next year.
Milford is not what we need. We need to try and get some forwards and work from there.
could it be a player swap Reynolds for Milf?
Only if Seibold is a mole, attempting to sabotage the Broncos from within.
Is this some sort of bad joke???
Better joke than Moylan …that was a bad Dad joke
Fans- why do tigers only signed washed up usless players
Headline- Tigers sign 25 yr old Origin player who has taken his current clun to a grand final and has played 170 first grade games at only 25.
Fans- idiots what ridiculous signing
Is he the best player in the world no, is he well aabove what we currently have with a massive amount of ability and creativity - yes