SHAUN Johnson could become the biggest name on the open market come November 1 as the Warriors are yet to offer the star halfback a contract extension beyond 2019.
The New Zealand Herald is reporting that Johnson’s time in the No.7 jersey could be coming to an end as the club is believed to have told the 28-year-old he can look elsewhere.
Currently, Johnson is believed to be the highest-paid player at the club after taking up a rich contract extension in 2017 despite lucrative interest from rival NRL and English clubs.
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“I could go to another club and another system but I realised winning there (at another club) wouldn’t mean as much as winning here,” he said at the time.
However, Warriors CEO Cameron George told the New Zealand Herald that the club was in no rush to re-sign Johnson, indicating retaining him is no longer the club’s first priority as it once was.
“The club are open-minded about the future and we’ll talk to Shaun and his management
when he gets back from overseas about the future,” he said.
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“We’re very open-minded and with any recruitment decisions it’s about the team and the club first. But while we’re being open-minded about the future, we’re not going to be scared to make big calls on any player.
“We want to win the competition and we’ll be doing everything recruitment-wise to get the best people in the club to do so.
“We are not scared about making any big calls on our roster because we want to win this competition and everyone’s always under review.”
If Johnson joins the open market, a number of clubs would be interested in the services of an experienced half, and Johnson could likely benefit from a change in scenery.
Originally published as Warriors dump superstar: Report
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