Newcastle Knights have failed in a daring multi-million dollar bid to prise star Broncos forwards Tevita Pangai Jnr and Matt Lodge out of Brisbane.
Desperate to land a couple of powerhouse forwards to bolster the club’s engine room next season, coach Nathan Brown is understood to have gone in hard for both players over the past month.
But he told the Newcastle Herald yesterday it was always going to be a tough proposition to persuade either player to leave the Broncos.
Pangai Jnr was also involved in negotiations with the Sydney Roosters and Canberra while Parramatta held discussions with Lodge.
“The Broncos are one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the NRL and they don’t lose too many players they want to keep do they,”Brown said.
“We had a decent crack at them but couldn’t quite get either over the line.
“As it stands, we’ve already moved on and are looking elsewhere. With the way the uncertainty is surrounding coaches at a few clubs, we still believe there will be some player movement between now and the start of next season.”
While it was common knowledge the club held talks in Newcastle with Pangai Jnr in late August and tabled a big multi-year offer soon after, they managed to keep negotiations with Lodge on the quiet.
The Newcastle Herald understands the club met with the controversial frontrower and his manager early last week in Sydney.
“We had a chat and there was certainly a lot of interest there but in the end, Matt’s a pretty loyal type of kid and the Broncos have stood by him and done a lot for him,” Brown said.
“So I can understand where he is coming from.”
Brown would not be drawn on whether the club may now pursue Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa if he was to become available with rumours doing the rounds he could be shopped by the premiers.