THE Sea Eagles will have to find up to $1 million in their salary cap to secure former Sydney Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce for next season.
Sources say a halfback of Pearce’s standing in the game would command a salary of between $900,000 and $1 million a year.
Manly is currently involved in a three-way battle with the Cronulla Sharks and Newcastle Knights to sign Pearce after the Roosters released him on Monday.
The Knights could easily give Pearce that money and even pay overs due to their revelation they have to spend another $1.5 million by June 30 next year to be salary cap compliant.
The matter has been complicated with the suggestions that the Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders could also enter the race for his signature.
Coincidentally at the same time that the Roosters announced Pearce was going the Sea Eagles let five-eighth Blake Green go from the final year of his contract to take up a lucrative three-year deal with the Warriors.
It is expected that it will take up to a fortnight for Pearce’s future to be finalised.
The NSW State of Origin halfback will have to talk to at least three clubs, including the Sea Eagles, and the various coaching staff.
“It’s not something that is going to happen quickly,” the Manly Daily has been told.