English test star John Bateman told Canberra that he would move in 2021 when he suspected of moving to Canterbury or returning home with his family and the former Wigan club.
Bateman has a three-year offer on the Bulldogs table and a four-year contract from his former Super League team, with contracts estimated to be around $ 2 million.
Neither the Bulldogs nor Wigan have made any official comments on the future of Bateman.
However, NRL.com understands that Bateman informed the Raiders on Tuesday that he will leave the club at the end of the season.
The Raiders have been making recruiting and retention decisions in 2021 for some time based on the probability that Bateman will pass this year.
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With his 10-year-old daughter Millie living in England, as well as Bateman’s extended family, the attraction of being in the same time zone as his loved ones naturally brings him home.
Bateman was granted permission to negotiate with rivals as Canberra’s salary cap constraints prevent the club from offering the improved offer it sought to negotiate, in accordance with the terms of its original three-year Raiders contract.
He was excluded from a shoulder injury that required a second surgery due to complications in his recovery from surgery in February.
Bateman’s return date after an injury remains uncertain, although NRL.com has been informed that it is still at least a month before a return.
Bateman arrived in Canberra last year and played a key role in their participation in the grand finale of 2019.
In his first NHL season with the club, he won the title of second rower of the year Dally M, but has yet to play a game in 2020.
The 26-year-old played 126 games with Wigan between 2014 and 2018, winning two titles before moving to Canberra.