Sport NRL 2020: Trent Barrett confirms Canterbury still pursuing ‘complicated’ Josh Addo-Carr signing

21:50  30 october  2020
21:50  30 october  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Incoming Canterbury coach Trent Barrett has confirmed the club’s ongoing interest in signing wantaway Melbourne flyer Josh Addo-Carr and off-contract Penrith prodigy Matt Burton.

Addo-Carr is contracted to the Storm until the end of the 2021 NRL campaign but has requested an early release to return to Sydney citing family reasons.

The 25-year-old was reportedly close to finalising a return to Wests Tigers but the Storm’s insistence on receiving a like-for-like player in exchange for ‘The Fox’ saw talks break down.

Addo-Carr was on Thursday named on the wing for the NSW Blues and Barrett remains hopeful of luring the representative star to Belmore next season.

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“We’ve made no secret we’d like him at the club, there’s a fair bit at play in the background there, he’s still contracted to Melbourne and it’s a little bit of a complicated one to be honest, so that might take some time if it does eventuate,” Barrett told Triple M’s The Rush Hour of Addo-Carr.

“He’s certainly a player that I would think would add a fair bit of personality to the team, not just what he does on it.

“He’s grown up too, I think Josh, but where that goes I’m not too sure.”

Barrett spent the 2020 season as an assistant coach to Ivan Cleary at the Panthers.

The ex-Manly coach reportedly struck a gentleman’s agreement with the Panthers not to poach any of their homegrown talent.

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However Burton, Isaah Yeo and Stephen Crichton were this week all linked with the Bulldogs.

Pressed on his agreement with the Panthers, Barrett promised to be respectful but singled out playmaker Burton, who comes off contract at the end of next season, as a main recruitment target.

“Any discussions that we’ve had we’ve gone through the front door with it,” Barrett said.

“We certainly wouldn’t go in for a player that was entrenched there or had a pathway at Penrith.

“However, if other clubs are going to come in, and we’d be silly not to think that other clubs are going to try (to sign) Matt Burton, I’d rather him come to me than go to Melbourne.”

Meanwhile, Barrett drew comparisons between superstar Panthers half-back Nathan Cleary and Kyle Flanagan, who this week signed a three-year deal with the Bulldogs after being cut loose by the Sydney Roosters.

“He’s (Flanagan) a player, you know he’s not too dissimilar to what Nathan Cleary was 12-to-18 months ago.

“He’s steady, he’s very calm, he’s got a good kicking game and that’s what I like in a half-back.

“I’ll develop a team with a lot of strike around that, and he’s a good bloke too and someone we can build a club around.”

Nick Cotric (Canberra), Jack Hetherington (Panthers) and Corey Waddell (Manly) have all signed with the Bulldogs for the 2021 campaign, while young gun Jake Averillo on Friday re-committed until the end of 2023.

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