NRL: Cleary quiet on pursuit for Carney

Todd Carney. Photo / Getty Images
Todd Carney. Photo / Getty Images

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary is remaining tight-lipped about the NRL club's pursuit of Cronulla star Todd Carney.

Reports on Wednesday suggested the Panthers were now the front-runners to win the NSW five-eighth's signature, despite Carney's desire to stay loyal to the Sharks.

Rumours have also suggested the Warriors are throwing big money at Carney to bring him across the Tasman in 2014 as Shaun Johnson's halves partner.

Asked where the Panthers were at in their negotiations with the former Dally M winner, coach Cleary said he wasn't "commenting on recruitment."

Penrith recently announced St George Illawarra super boot Jamie Soward was joining them on a four-year deal from next season, but it seems the Panthers want to add a second Blues representative to their halves stocks.

Hotly tipped to sign Johnathan Thurston earlier this year, the Panthers won't want to miss out on snaring another of the game's elite after the North Queensland skipper eventually re-signed with the Cowboys.

Carney isn't quite on Thurston's level, but he's one of the top playmakers in the game with years still ahead of him.

Penrith prop Tim Grant says his State of Origin teammate Carney would be a valuable addition to the Panthers if the club can land the deal.

"I haven't heard that one, but obviously anyone that's being linked here and they're top quality players like Toddy, I get excited about that for sure," Grant said.

"He's won Dally M player of the year. You could probably write anything. It's obvious what he brings to a team."


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