Tim Mannah to quit Eels for NRL rival
Parramatta club captain Tim Mannah will sensationally leave the Eels as early as Tuesday to sign with Wests Tigers.
It would end a remarkable 11 year career at Parramatta for one of the club's most respected players.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal negotiations between Mannah, Parramatta and Wests Tigers only started late Monday afternoon.
One source close to Parramatta said: "It has all happened so fast."
It is understood the Wests Tigers deal - at this point - would only be for the remainder of this season.
Negotiations are expected to conclude Tuesday when the deal will be formally announced by Wests Tigers.
Parramatta recently told Mannah, aged 31, that his future beyond this season was uncertain.
Mannah comes off contract after this year and was expected to leave Australia for the English Super League.
But Wests Tigers entered negotiations late and look to have signed the veteran prop although there is still a possibility talks could fall over late.
Parramatta has two outstanding young props emerging trough the grades to replace Mannah - Oregon Kaufusi and Stefano Utoikamanu.
Mannah's negotiations were treated respectfully by Parramatta but he was informed he wouldn't be re-signed for next season.
It was Mannah that sought the release, with the Eels saying they were happy for the prop to see out the season.
The Eels wanted to give Mannah sufficient time to find a new club.
Wests Tigers are understood to be signing Mannah mid-season for a bargain price. It is unknown whether Wests Tigers have plans to sign Mannah for another season in 2020.
Mannah is a former Parramatta skipper who is now club captain. Fullback Clint Gutherson is the current team skipper.
Parramatta fans will be gutted to lose Mannah, a club favourite. He has played his entire NRL club at Parramatta and many thought Mannah would retire a one-club legend.
He has played nearly 250 games for the Eels along with representing City, NSW, Lebanon and the Prime Minister's XIII.
Mannah debuted for Parramatta against the New Zealand Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium way back in 2009.
The hardworking forward has started a number of games this season from the interchange bench.
Wests Tigers will sign Mannah due to his strong work ethic, his ability to nurture rookies and his professionalism. The Tigers also need front-rowers.
Late last month, Mannah was demoted to reserve grade.
"It's sad because Tim is so well loved at Parramatta," said one source. "But this is the reality of rugby league these days.
"Parramatta has some great young props coming through and Wests Tigers also need some front-rowers. As sad as it is, everyone wins."