‘Fools’: Eels slammed for Gutherson delay
PARRAMATTA legend Ray Price has labelled the Eels management as "fools" for not signing fullback and skipper Clint Gutherson and leaving the door open for his possible return to Manly.
Price, who watches Eels' games each week from the Gold Coast, declared: "If they don't sign him they are the biggest fools in the game."
Parramatta has offered Gutherson a three-year deal worth almost $2 million but the 24-year-old fullback wants four years before he commits.
"Seriously, this has been a joke," Price said.
"Why have they allowed it to drag on?
"Who's their best player most weeks? He's doing everything. The captaincy, attack, defence the lot.
"Is he worth $650,000? I'd be paying him that straight away and locking him in.
"They'll find out how much they miss him if he leaves. It would be a huge blow."
Price was back in Parramatta for the opening of Bankwest Stadium on Easter Monday, the day Gutherson led Parramatta to a 51-6 thumping of the Wests Tigers.
"You can tell a class player and he's one of them," Price said.
"He does it every week. I don't care that he hasn't played rep football. Just sign him."
In the past Price has been critical of the amount of money modern-day players earn compared to his playing days and four premiership at the Parramatta Eels in the 1980s.
Yet he has no problem with what Gutherson and his agent Sam Ayoub are asking for.
The Parramatta Eels have been under fire for the delayed negotiations with Gutherson, halfback Mitchell Moses and coach Brad Arthur. They currently have 14 players off contract.
The Eels are reportedly close to doing a deal with Arthur.
Sunday's victory over St George Illawarra obviously helped along with the fact he has lifted the Eels from the wooden spoon to five wins from eight games.
Their match against Storm in magic round on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium will be one of the highlights of the weekend in Brisbane.
Parramatta is also in talks with front-row warhorse Tim Mannah, who wants one more year in 2020.
The 31-year-old prop has played 230 games for Parramatta and is still a handy middle forward off the bench.