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Josh Addo-Carr could make a shock immediate switch from the Bulldogs to arch-rivals Parramatta if the star winger is released from Canterbury.
It comes after the Bulldogs landed Warriors forward Josh Curran for next season.
This masthead can reveal Parramatta have expressed interest in signing Addo-Carr immediately if the Bulldogs agree to release him from his contract.
Parramatta would have to release a player to make the deal happen.
Addo-Carr is on the outer with some Bulldogs officials, despite a recent clear-the-air meeting with football general manager Phil Gould. The premiership-winning winger is contracted until the end of 2025, but could depart sooner if the club benefits from the move.
The Eels have highlighted a need for more speed out wide, while the Bulldogs are short of forwards after losing Tevita Pangai jnr, Luke Thompson, Corey Waddell, Franklin Pele and Fa’amanu Brown. The Bulldogs haven’t ruled out a player exchange.
Could Canterbury star Josh Addo-Carr be heading to Parramatta?Credit: Getty
Despite it being the off-season, Addo-Carr has been in the spotlight. The former Wests Tigers and Storm flanker was hit with a two-game ban, served during Australia’s opening Pacific Nations Tests – as well as a $5000 fine ($3000 suspended) for his role in a brawl during the Koori Knockout.
There was further controversy a week later when Addo-Carr uploaded an Instagram post linking the conflict in the Middle East with Indigenous land rights. After posting a photo of the Palestinian and Aboriginal flags with the caption “One struggle, one fight”, he promptly deleted it and expressed remorse for what he initially thought was a “message of respect for all people”.
This masthead revealed he was on the nose with some Canterbury powerbrokers before a meeting with Gould a fortnight ago. Gould said he wanted Addo-Carr to show more leadership as a senior player, but assured him he was wanted at Belmore.
That may change following news Parramatta would be interested should the 28-year-old become a free agent. The blue and golds’ three-quarter stocks were stretched in 2023 after Waqa Blake was relegated to reserve grade and a raft of injuries limited the options for coach Brad Arthur.
The Eels signed Manly centre Morgan Harper on a one-year deal to add depth, but Addo-Carr is viewed as the X-factor the club needs after missing out on the play-offs in 2023. Parramatta’s only other signing to date is Manly forward Kelma Tuilagi.
Addo-Carr has scored 27 tries in 38 games for a Canterbury outfit that has struggled for points in his two seasons in the blue and white. His popularity at Belmore is underscored by the sale of more than $1 million of his personal merchandise brand, which resulted in him being crowned the NRL’s entrepreneur of the year award.
The Eels and Bulldogs were contacted for comment.
The Bulldogs’ continue to be aggressive in the transfer market, with Warriors forward Curran set to make an immediate switch to Belmore.
Curran, who had been given permission to test the market despite having another year left on his Warriors deal, has agreed to terms with Canterbury.
He also spoke to the Dragons but told the club on Tuesday night that he wouldn't be taking up their offer.
He will join Stephen Crichton, Blake Taaffe, Bronson Xerri and Jaeman Salmon as confirmed signings for Cameron Ciraldo’s side next year as they try to climb out of the NRL’s bottom four.
Curran had also been weighing up interest from the Dragons, but has told Canterbury officials he will return to Sydney with the Bulldogs.
It comes as the Bulldogs announced a two-year deal for winger Blake Wilson until the end of 2025.
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