Popular Panthers and Kangaroos winger Josh Mansour has shot down reports he wants to leave Penrith following the conclusion of his current contract.
Signed with the Panthers until the end of next season, Mansour will undoubtedly be in hot demand by rival clubs for 2019 and beyond.
A report emerged last week suggesting Mansour wanted out of Penrith, and had instructed his manager to look elsewhere.
Suitors including the Canterbury Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters were two clubs named as being interested in the former Origin powerhouse.
Speaking with the Weekender, Mansour denied he wanted out of the club and expressed his desire to remain a Panther long-term.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” he said of the rumours.
“I haven’t even spoken to my manager or anything. I’ve just been enjoying my time with the Aussie boys.
“I’m obviously off-contract in 2019 but, at this point in time, I want to get away from footy and focus on family.
“I have no intentions to leave, at this point in time I’m still a Penrith Panther and will be for the remainder of next season. Hopefully a new deal can sort itself out.”
The Weekender understands that Penrith are willing to offer Mansour a new deal for 2019 and beyond but the club is unsure whether they can match offers from rival clubs.
Penrith may also have to throw the kitchen sink at Nathan Cleary to ensure he remains at the foot of the Mountains.
This isn’t the first time Mansour’s future has been up for discussion. In 2014, he received a lucrative offer to join the Canberra Raiders but turned it down to remain with Penrith for two more seasons.
In 2016, he signed another two-year deal to remain loyal to the Panthers until the end of 2018.
Unlike fellow teammates Dylan Edwards and Tyrone May who signed contract extensions recently, Mansour will most likely wait until the season gets underway before sorting out his future.
Nathan Taylor is the Western Weekender’s award-winning sports journalist. Nathan is also the Weekender’s Deputy Editor.