THE Newcastle Knights are on the verge of signing discarded former Brisbane Broncos utility back Dane Gagai.
Gagai’s manager, Col Davis, would not comment but the Newcastle Herald has been told by sources close to the negotiation process that a deal between Gagai and the Knights for the rest of the NRL season and next year is imminent.
It is understood an official agreement is likely to be signed in the next few days, but whether Gagai would be considered for selection to play for the Knights against his old club at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday remains to be seen.
The Broncos told 21-year-old Gagai earlier this month that he would no longer be considered for their NRL squad due to a series of undisclosed minor disciplinary breaches, but he has been in demand since then.
It is understood up to eight clubs were chasing the former Junior Kangaroos representative but he narrowed his choice down to the Knights, Cowboys and Raiders.
A former Queensland schoolboys rugby union representative, Gagai also considered switching back to the 15-man code and joining defending Super Rugby champions Queensland Reds.
But the Newcastle Herald has been told Mackay-born Gagai has opted for the Knights because it will give him the chance to be reunited with coach Wayne Bennett, who oversaw his junior development at the Broncos while he was a teenager.
Though he lists his preferred positions as fullback or five-eighth, Gagai played six games on the wing for the Broncos last season and scored four tries.
He signed a new two-year deal with the Broncos in March but Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin told him earlier this month that he would not be considered for selection in their NRL team due to his poor disciplinary record.
Gagai has been playing for Brisbane’s Queensland Cup feeder team Redcliffe Dolphins since then.