David Fifita, Canberra Raiders, contract negotiations, news

The Raiders have escalated their push to lure David Fifita to the nation’s capital with coach Ricky Stuart meeting the management of the million-dollar forward last week, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Fifita, who’s reportedly making $1.25 million at the Titans, has been allowed to negotiate with rival clubs since November 1 because his contract expires at the end of 2023.

While Canberra is yet to table an official offer to Fifita, the club is intent on building its forward pack around the Queensland State of Origin enigma from 2024.

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The Raiders are not only chasing Fifita but his partner, Shaylee Bent, for their NRLW side.

Fifita left the Broncos following the 2020 season to take up a colossal three-year contract with the Titans.

Gold Coast wants to keep the 22-year-old but won’t agree to a deal anywhere near his $1.25-a-year contract, with the Titans unhappy at the return on investment.

Fifita failed to earn Maroons selection this year and scored only seven tries in the NRL, after chalking up 17 in 2021.

Speaking on Wide World of Sports’ Six Tackles with Gus podcast in September, Phil Gould criticised the Titans over the mouthwatering amount of cash they threw at Fifita.

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“If you go back in time to when they signed him, I said it was an irresponsible signing,” Gould said.

“$1.25 million for a 20-year-old back-rower is reckless spending.

“It actually caused problems with the whole player market and the values in the market.

“When you get an outlier purchase like that where someone goes and pays a ridiculous amount of money for a young back-rower, then the other back-rowers, forwards, halves, five-eighths and fullbacks in the competition say, ‘Well if he’s worth that, what am I worth?’.

“It created a whole false economy.

“It’s not his fault he’s on that money, but it was harmful to the game.”

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