Parramatta are preparing a lucrative deal for Jamie Buhrer in the hope of luring the former NSW utility back to the club.
The Eels have recruited aggressively in the off-season by adding Will Hopoate, Corey Norman, Nathan Peats, Lee Mossop and Justin Hunt to a roster that finished with the wooden spoon last year. However, there is still much rebuilding to be done and officials believe Buhrer would be a handy acquisition.
Buhrer has played 83 NRL games and earned City and NSW Origin jerseys, albeit for just a handful of minutes, since making the switch to Manly in 2010. However, he would never have defected if the Eels had shown more faith in him.
The Patrician Brothers Blacktown product's goal was to nail a spot at the Eels and he would have signed for a nominal fee. However, the club was not prepared to commit to him, adding to a long line of juniors who have flourished elsewhere.
Buhrer, who can play in the back row, halves or as hooker, is off contract at the end of the season. He has spoken about his desire to see out his career at Brookvale, but it is unclear if the Sea Eagles can keep him given they have other stars coming off contract and little room under the salary cap.
Meanwhile, there is a push to introduce constitutional changes at the annual general meeting on March 17, which would affect the running of the Eels. An item on the agenda reads: ''That the board of the Parramatta District Rugby League Club Limited take all practicable steps to facilitate a return of the Parramatta District Rugby League Club Limited of the ownership of, and the responsibility for, all the rugby league football teams currently owned by, or administered by, the Parramatta National Rugby League Pty Ltd.''
In essence, it would more clearly separate the responsibilities between directors charged with overseeing the leagues club and those running the Eels.