Off-contract Penrith Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai has delivered a cryptic response to his coach Ivan Cleary's recent comment regarding his future as a halfback. Cleary had stated that it would be a risk for any club to sign Luai as their future chief playmaker. However, Luai seems to have fired back with a message on Instagram, urging everyone to "know your worth."
As a highly sought-after player, Luai won't be short of offers, with reports suggesting that he could command deals worth over $1 million per season. While the Panthers are eager to retain him, salary cap limitations mean they can only offer $850,000 per season on a two-year extension.
Cleary's comment had raised eyebrows, questioning whether Luai had the experience and track record to become a club's main playmaker. The 26-year-old has represented Samoa and featured in the last year's World Cup, but his role within the Panthers has been slightly different.
Luai's response on social media, featuring the caption "know your worth" and accompanied by the song "Hustler's Ambition" by 50 Cent, appears to address his coach's comments indirectly. Meanwhile, Cleary has stated that he is comfortable with Luai exploring his options and emphasized the club's desire for him to stay.
Despite the financial constraints, Cleary believes Luai is a high-quality player and hopes he will consider the team's offer. He acknowledged that money talks in these situations, but expressed confidence that Luai also wants to remain with the Panthers.
As negotiations continue, it remains to be seen whether Luai will stay with Penrith or opt to explore other opportunities. Fans and rival clubs will be eagerly watching how this contract saga unfolds, as Luai's future as a potential chief playmaker hangs in the balance.